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Ministries, NATO vow elaborate election security

Ministries, NATO vow elaborate election security

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Oct 15, 2018 - 09:47

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Interior and defence ministries and NATOinfo-icon’s Resolute Support mission have assured the Afghans to freely cast their votes in the October 20 parliamentary election.

Spokespersons for the ministries and the NATO mission promised voter protection at a joint press conference in Kabul on maintaining election security on Sunday.

RS spokesman Col. Knut Peters said their mission in Afghanistaninfo-icon was to support the government in reaching peace. The election outcome would be decided by the Afghan people, he added.

“I would like to emphasise that NATO will remain strictly impartial in the elections next Saturday. NATO will not play any role at all. The whole process, at all stages, is and will remain in the hands of your fellow countrymen and womeninfo-icon from the initial plan to the final results,” Peters said. 

Interior and defense ministries’ spokesmen, meanwhile, said they had tightened measures to ensure security of elections. They said on election day, three security belts would be created at each polling centre to ensure voter safety. 

“Security forces will be stationed in the belts to maintain security. In the first belt near polling centres, mostly police and intelligence forces will be deployed,” said the Interior Ministry spokesman.

Najib Danish added at a distance of 3,000 to 5,000 meters, Afghan National Army soldiers would be stationed. In the third security belt, police, National Directorate of Security and ANA will jointly mobilise patrols. 

“The Defence Ministry is committed to maintaining security on Saturday (election day) and we assure all our people to go to polling centers without any fear,” ministry spokesman Ghafoor Ahmad Jawed said. 

The Interior Ministry's counter-narcotics department, meanwhile, said they had seized 49 AK-47 rifles that were being transferred to Kabul by armed groups to disrupt elections. 

“It is mostly believed armed anti-government groups wanted to disrupt election security with the weapons we have seized,” Deputy Interior Minister Abdul Khalil Bakhtiar said. 

Earlier, the MoI said it would deploy over 50,000 security forces to 5,100 polling centres across the country to maintain election security.

sa/mud

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