Militant hideouts a threat to polls in Wardak
KABUL (Pajhwok): Maidan Wardak governor Abdul Majeed Khogyani on Thursday said militant hideouts posed a serious security threat to the April elections in the central province.
He was speaking at a gathering attended by US State Department High Representative for southeastern Afghanistan Karin Decker, military and civil officials in Maidan Shahr, the provincial capital.
Naeemi said though insurgents had been weakened in all districts of the province as a result of improved coordination between security organs, yet militant hideouts remained in some parts.
He called on the ministries of interior and defence to launch operations and dismantle the hideouts ahead of the elections so people could cast their votes without fear.
“If the available forces in Wardak are better equipped and deputed to election duty, I believe the vote will pass off in peace,” he said.
He also complained about the fewer number of policewomen to be available for election duty, asking the Ministry of Interior to cooperate with his administration in this regard.
“Whenever I have a meeting with tribal elders, I have found them keenly interested in the elections. This is something that encourages me to say the vote will be a success,” the governor said.
Election officials should extend awareness-creating programmes to all districts in order to ensure a satisfactory turnout, he said.
For her part, the US diplomat called negative propaganda by militants regarding the elections as a major threat. She said the election commission should intensify efforts at countering the propaganda.
Provincial police chief Fahim Qaem stressed the need for more cooperation and coordination among security organs, saying there had been no security threats in Wardak as feared.
So far 30,000 people, including 8,000 women, have been issued voter registration cards in the province, with the campaign still ongoing in the provincial capital.
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