Peaceful environment for polls reassured
The assurance was held out at a joint press conference addressed by Interior Minister Mohammad Omar Daudzai and acting National Directorate of Security chief Rahmatullah Nabil in Kabul.
Daudzai said more than 450,000 Afghan National Army (ANA), police, local police and intelligence personnel would keep security for the elections nationwide. He said extraordinary security measures had been put in place to ensure the elections passed off peacefully.
The minister said the security campaign was Afghan-led and foreign troops would be called in if necessary.
Daudzai said police being a law enforcement agency had the responsibility to prevent electoral fraud.
Daudzai assured security forces would remain neutral and would prevent attempts at rigging the elections. He asked voters to contact the authorities concerned if they found security forces interfering in the elections.
He said the Afghans should cast their votes to tell the country’s enemies that they wanted peace, not violence.
“Through the ballot, we should prove the world that we are a civilised nation and the international aid given to Afghanistan over the past 13 years has not been wasted. We have our capacities and political life improved.”
Daudzai continued Afghanistan was in the middle of the war and the enemies were out to prevent Afghans from electing their leadership, thus intensifying their attacks.
The Taliban have vowed to disrupt the elections by attacking anyone associated with the process. Terrorist attacks in Kabul and other provinces have recently increased.
Daudzai said there had been no electioneering in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces in the run-up to the general elections in May due to insecurity.
However, he said there were 372 big campaign rallies in Afghanistan and there had been no security incident during the election campaign.
The minister said only 748 polling centres across the country would remain closed on the voting day due to security and other reasons.
The closed sites made 10 percent of the total polling centres set up across the country, a percentage far less compared to the previous elections, Daudzai maintained.
The minister also reassured security of international poll observers, saying their protection was the duty of police.
For his part, NDS acting chief Nabil said people’s cooperation with security forces in maintaining security for the elections was crucial. He said the people should extend their cooperation by casting their votes.
He said the enemies were out to scare away the Afghans from participating in the elections, but the vote would be a success like the electioneering and would pass off in a peaceful environment.
Nabil asked intelligence officials to stay completely impartial during the elections, saying no NDS official had the right to work in favour or against any candidate.
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