Afghan passport least powerful in world

Kabul, Feb 26 (IANS) The Afghan passport has been identified as the least powerful in the world for the restrictions the countrymen face in terms of visa-free travel, an index by a London-based consulting firm showed on Friday.

The index found Germans held the most powerful passports in the world for third year in row in 2016, Tolo news reported on Friday.

A number of the European nations and the US, Japan and Canada closely follow Germany as the top nations holding the most powerful passports in the world.

The countries listed below Afghanistan were South Sudan and Palestinian territories, according to the index — South Sudan being the youngest sovereign state in the world and Palestinian territories less diplomatically recognised by countries in the West.

The index update by Henley & Partners attempts to quantify the power of passports based on the judgements in the world by the amount of visa-free travel they entitle their owner to.

The update comes as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) imposed restrictions on Afghan nationals’ visit who were heading towards Dubai for business and tourism.

The issue with the UAE emerged with the issuance of the new electronic Afghan passports amid concerns that the citizens of the other countries misused the Afghan passports.

However, the issue was later resolved as an agreement was reached between the two countries to improve the information quality of the newly issued e-passports.

Meanwhile, the demand by Afghans for passports has increased last year with the deteriorating security situation across the country, forcing many Afghans to travel abroad, specifically to the Western countries by risking their lives and travelling through dangerous routes.

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