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On eve of crucial vote, strict security promised

On eve of crucial vote, strict security promised

Jun 13, 2014 - 19:18

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Stringent security measures have been put in place for the crucial second round of the presidential ballot to be held on Saturday, senior officials said on Friday.

Interior Minister Mohammad Omar Daudzai told a press conference in Kabul that a comprehensive security plan was being implemented to secure the democratic exercise.

Flanked by Rahmatullah Nabil, the National Directorate of Security (NDSinfo-icon) chief and Murad Ali Murad, the commander of ground forces, he asked people to cast their votes in a fear-free environmentinfo-icon.

Afghan forces were ready to thwart any attempt at sabotaging the polls, he added. "Those who think about committing fraud in the election should know that we have already identified them.”

Government officials should stay impartial throughout the ballot process and focus on their constitutional duties, the minister said, pledging interference would not be brooked.

Gen. Murad said people should flock to polling stations to vote for a candidate of their choice without any security concerns. "Afghans should exercise their right tomorrow without any fear.”

With public support, plans were being implemented to protect voters and polling sites, he said, noting election materials had been transferred and there had been no serious problem. A secure environment had been ensured for a smooth and peaceful election, he maintained.

Speaking on the occasion, Nabil said additional security measures had been taken for the second round of the election, keeping in view the imperfections seen in the previous round.

He claimed the militants had been given a befitting response during the April 5 vote and their nefarious designs to sabotage the process had been thwarted successfully.

Earlier in the day, the chief of army staff said extraordinary security measures had been taken for the second round of the presidential ballot.

Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi told journalists a number of religious schools (madaris) in Pakistaninfo-icon had been closed and their students sent to Afghanistaninfo-icon to disrupt the election process.

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 key to the country’s prosperity, he said.



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