Wolesi Jirga briefed on election security
KABUL (PAN): Top security officials briefed Wolesi Jirga members behind closed doors on the current security environment and the measures taken to ensure holding of peaceful presidential and provincial council elections.
The briefing comes at a time when the parliament has repeatedly expressed reservations in connection with security situation, stressing effective measures to ensure the 2014 polls are conducted in a fair and inclusive manner.
In this regard, the Wolesi Jirga summoned Defence Minister Bismillah Muhammadi, Interior Minister Mohammad Umar Daudzai and Rehmatullah Nabil, the acting head of the intelligence service -- the National Directorate of Security.
During the open part of today’s session, MP from Kandahar Hamidzai Lalai complained security was fast deteriorating across the country.
Some districts of Helmand and Kandahar provinces were on the verge to collapse, he observed, saying some provinces had been experiencing lack of coordination among security forces -- something that led to insecurity and lawlessness.
Without giving details, he said: “Some officials themselves are creating security problems on highways in certain provinces. How can we complain against the Taliban?”
Zalmai Mujaddedi, a legislator from Badakhshan, said internal and external factors were behind the worsening conditions. Foreign intelligence agencies were involved in fuelling lawlessness and insecurity in the country, he charged.
He urged the security officials to hold broad-based consultations with parliamentarians to make military operations result-oriented. “Your actual problem is that you are conducting operations based on Security Council decisions. They often prove ineffective.”
Mirdad Khan Najrabi from central Kapisa province told the house people had deep concerns with regard to security during the upcoming elections. For conducting free, fair and independent polls, honest measures be taken to maintain security, he demanded.
A public representative from Kabul, Shukria Barakzai, said the defence and interior ministers belonged to two different political movements.
Another woman lawmaker, Nazifa Zaki, stressed the need for policemen’s active role in the electoral process. “We will run into problems if policewomen aren’t tasked with election duty.”
Several other MPs also insisted on improved security, saying next year’s elections were central to Afghanistan’s future. They called for palpable and swift improvement in the situation. Some members suggested the issue should not be discussed in the presence of media representatives.
Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi agreed the security of mining projects and elections was an absolute imperative. He asked the officials concerned to update lawmakers behind closed doors on the security situation.
In line with the speaker’s ruling, journalists were barred from covering the rest of the session in view of the sensitivity of the issue and they left the press gallery.
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