Joint plan for poll security devised, Senate told
Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi and Interior Minister Omar Daudzai assured the upper house their strategy would ensure adequate election security.
Mohammadi acknowledged polling stations in several parts of the country were faced with a high security threat, but it would be warded off with implementation of the security agencies’ joint strategy.
“Afghanistan’s enemies are trying to scuttle the elections, but they would not succeed in their nefarious designs,” the minister said, adding they were doing their bit to conduct the polls in a peaceful environment.
For his part, Daudzai said NATO-led troops would help Afghan forces in implementing the security strategy to help conduct the elections in a free and fair manner.
“At this stage, I can’t say with certainty whether or not the security problem will impinge on the elections. However, we do have effective operational plans in place. Hopefully, we will be able to hold a successful vote,” he remarked.
He stressed the need for police officials’ neutrality during the electoral process. “If they don’t remain impartial, the election credibility will come under question,” the acting minister warned.
Voter registration materials had been dispatched 402 of the 408 polling stations, he said, explaining the material could not be delivered to centres in the Nawa district of Ghazni, Deshu and Baghran districts of Helmand, Ala Sai district of Kapisa and Khak-i-Afghan district of Zabul for security reasons.
He confirmed of the 8,000 polling stations planned across the country, 259 were faced with a high security threat.
Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar called for the forces to do whatever they could to forge coordination in order to ensure a satisfactory security environment for the polls, slated for April 2014.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.