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Deal with illegal armed groups before polls: activists

Deal with illegal armed groups before polls: activists

Sep 03, 2013 - 20:41

HERAT CITY (PANinfo-icon): Civil societyinfo-icon activists on Tuesday asked the government to ensure the upcoming elections took place without any interference from irrelevant individuals in the western zone.

The call was echoed at a gathering of civil society activists representing various groups from Herat, Ghorinfo-icon and Badghis provinces.

One of the gathering organisers, Khalid Parsa, who heads a civil society group which represents the youth, said illegal armed groups could be the main hurdle before the elections.

He asked security organs to bring into use all available resources they possessed in maintaining security for the April 5 presidential and provincial council elections.

Another civil society activist, coming all the way from Ghor province, said illegal armed groups continued to hold sway in his province, somehow making residents hostage.

He claimed some powerful individuals had collected identity cards from residents to use them in favour of candidates of their choice.

He said womeninfo-icon were not independent in their right to cast votes because they had to obey instructions from their male family members, husbands, elders and former jihadiinfo-icon figures.

Ustad Abdul Qadir Kamran from Badghis said the Talibaninfo-icon had remerged in the province to threaten the election process. He said the government’s writ in Badghis had been confined to 20 or 25 percent areas.

He said elections were impossible in the whole of Badghis if the security situation remained the same.

But security and election officials promised all-out efforts for holding free elections in the western zone in a peaceful environmentinfo-icon.

Police spokesman Col. Abdul Rauf Ahmadi said no effort was spared to remove hurdles in the way of elections.

He said insurgents in many districts and the provincial capital had been flushed out to improve conditions for the elections.

Independent Election Commission official Mohammad Tariq Aryan said the voter registration campaign was going well without any untoward incident.



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