Pakistan out to scuttle elections: Security chiefs
KABUL (Pajhwok): Pakistan is trying to disrupt next week’s landmark presidential and provincial council elections, Afghan security chiefs alleged while briefing the Wolesi Jirga (lower house of parliament) on Saturday.
Defence Minister Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi, Interior Minister Omar Daudzai and National Directorate of Security (NDS) acting head Rahmatullah Nabil were summoned to brief lawmakers on recent attacks and election security.
One MP from Faryab province Rangina Kargar voiced serious concern at the recent wave of unrest. “A safe life seems is a miracle these days,” she remarked, asking the security bosses to ensure people’s protection.
She literally broke down while referring to recent deadly terrorist strikes in different parts of the country, including the central capital Kabul, Kandahar, Faryab and Nangarhar provinces.
Defence Minister Mohammadi blamed security personnel for failing to avert the assault. The militants would usually go to Pakistan in the winter, but they broke with the practice this year in an effort to scuttle the vote, he added.
However, he insisted the Taliban could not disturb the process with their attacks that killed innocent civilians. The current week might witness more incidents of violence, the minister warned, saying search operations would be conducted in insecure areas.
Pakistan was neither supporting the Afghan-led reconciliation campaign nor efforts at ending the war, claimed Mohammadi. “Suicide attackers sneaked into Afghanistan from Pakistan on a daily basis.”
Interior Minister Daudzai said the rebels were out to disrupt the polls but security forces had hammered out a comprehensive strategy to create the right conditions for holding the ballot.
“The fighters want to scuttle elections, shatter people’s confidence in security forces and create a gap between Afghanistan and the international community,” he said, adding the militants would never succeed in their designs.
Attacks in Afghanistan, particularly on border security posts, had intensified since a ceasefire was reached between the government in Islamabad and the Pakistani Taliban, observed Daudzai, a former ambassador to the neighbouring country.
Seminaries in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces had been closed and their students infiltrated into Afghanistan to disrupt the elections, the minister said.
Spymaster Nabil said “The enemies, particularly Pakistan, have continually been working to disturb the situation in our country after the election process began.
“We have strong evidence of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and other circles printing voter cards for some candidates … to create confusion and undermine the elections’ credibility.”
But the intelligence chief explained Afghan forces were capable of ensuring election security. Militant might intensify attacks but they would not make any difference, he continued.
Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, who praised the security forces’ sacrifices, urged the government and the people to join hands for improving the situation and conducting inclusive elections.
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