Insecurity intensifies ahead of polls
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Provincial council members on Sunday said rising insecurity would have a bitter impact on next year’s elections in northern Sar-i-Pul province.
However, security officials said they saw nothing potentially worrisome to endanger the electoral process.
Provincial council secretary Masoomi Rahim Ramazani told Pajhwok Afghan News the situation in Sar-i-Pul was not in favour of the April 5 presidential and provincial council elections.
The official said militants across the province had intensified efforts to fuel insecurity and keep residents from visiting voter registration centres. The situation in Kohistanat, Gosfandi and Sanjarak districts and the provincial capital is troublesome.
The public representative said a landmine went off in front of her house in Sar-i-Pul two days ago, but caused no casualties.
Similarly, a landmine targeted a team of voter card distributers, escorted by army personnel, in Kohistanat district, killing and wounding at least 10 people.
As Ramazani opposed sending the election team to the district, the council chief, Asadullah Khurram, called the security environment in Sar-i-Pul unstable.
He said residents were concerned about growing insecurity in the lead-up to the upcoming elections. He noted public representatives were not satisfied with the performance of security organs, saying he did not believe the officials concerned would be able to protect 137 polling centres in the province.
He said there had been problems in coordination among security organs, thus their inability to control the situation.
However, security officials said the situation in Sar-i-Pul was relatively peaceful as compared to other northern provinces.
Police chief Brig. Gen. Abdul Rauf Taj said recent security incidents could not threaten the election process. He said police in coordination with other security organs maintained security for voter registration centres.
He ruled out the existence of any major threat that could derail the election process and challenged the public representative for a debate in this regard.
The police chief said security forces needed people’s cooperation, but had the potential to give a mouth-breaking response to the enemy.
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