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Joint Plan for Election Security Devised, Senate Told

100423e-002 - Bilateral meeting NATO-Afghanistan

KABUL -An elaborate joint security plan has been devised for next year’s presidential and provincial council elections, senior officials informed the Meshrano Jirga on Tuesday.  Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi and Interior Minister Omar Daudzai assured the upper house their strategy would ensure adequate election security.

Mohammadi acknowledged polling stations in several parts of the country were faced with a high security threat, but it would be warded off with implementation of the security agencies’ joint strategy.

“Afghanistan’s enemies are trying to scuttle the elections, but they would not succeed in their nefarious designs,” the minister said, adding they were doing their bit to conduct the polls in a peaceful environment. For his part, Daudzai said NATO-led troops would help Afghan forces in implementing the security strategy to help conduct the elections in a free and fair manner.

“At this stage, I can’t say with certainty whether or not the security problem will impinge on the elections. However, we do have effective operational plans in place. Hopefully, we will be able to hold a successful vote,” he remarked. A former ambassador to Pakistan, Daudzai said: “I’m confident of tight election security. We have worked out useful plans on the one hand and Taliban assaults decline in the winter on the other.”

He stressed the need for police officials’ neutrality during the electoral process. “If they don’t remain impartial, the election credibility will come under question,” the acting minister warned. Voter registration materials had been dispatched 402 of the 408 polling stations, he said, explaining the material could not be delivered to centres in the Nawa district of Ghazni, Deshu and Baghran districts of Helmand, Ala Sai district of Kapisa and Khak-i-Afghan district of Zabul for security reasons. He confirmed of the 8,000 polling stations planned across the country, 259 were faced with a high security threat. (PAN)

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