Bids to disrupt ballot will be thwarted: Gen. Karimi
KABUL (Pajhwok): Extraordinary security measures have been put in place for the second round of the presidential ballot that would be held in a secure environment, the Afghan army chief said on Friday.
But he added the security forces had devised a comprehensive strategy to thwart the nefarious designs of anti-peace and anti-democracy elements. The runoff vote was a key to the country’s prosperity, he said, promising successful completion of the process.
In addition to Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers, at least 59,000 country’s security personnel had been deployed to various areas to secure the election, the chief of army staff added.
The security forces had held a series of meetings aimed at identifying weak areas and drawbacks in the first round of the elections, he said. The mistakes of April 5 ballots would not be repeated in the second round, he assured.
“Security for Saturday’s vote will be tighter than for the previous round,” the army chief reiterated. The Taliban had removed some of their senior leaders for failing to sabotage the April 5 vote, he said, without elaborating.
He warned strict action would be taken if any ANA soldier was found favouring any particular candidate or interfering in the election process.
Replying to a question, he said: “Pakistan has never been sincere in its approach toward Afghanistan and all people know this fact. There is the Durand Line issue, a water dispute and other strategic tiffs.”
He met the Pakistani ambassador the other day and told him: “Don’t send us terrorists.” Afghans needed to defy militant threats because the country’s security forces were ready to deal with the enemy effectively.
Referring to cross-border rocket attacks, he said the issue had been taken up with Pakistani officials time and again but Islamabad had not taken positive steps to halt aggression.
“I talked to Pakistani Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif on the rocket attacks. But 22 rockets were fired into Kunar that evening. It means the Pakistani army either lacks coordination or has a unified stand against Afghanistan,” he concluded.
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