Redoubling Efforts for Securing the Election
With the election looming, the most significant threat to the process seems to be the worsening security despite assurances given by the officials. Recently, Afghan security agencies assured that security has been provided for a number of ballot stations which were initially considered as insecure. The officials have assured that the police and army forces will be capable of providing security for the election process. However, the security remains shaky. The presidential candidates have been unable to promote their election campaign further and take the campaign out of the capital, Kabul. In recent weeks, the insurgent groups continue to organize attacks on election workers and threaten candidates and the people across the country.
In early days of 2014, the militant groups have launched a series of terrorist attacks across the country, indicating a sudden rise in the Taliban’s campaign of violence. In recent days, the militants have organized a number of suicide attacks and bombing in Kabul and some other key cities. And as a sign of how far have gone the militant groups in using every possible tactics in their campaign of violence, the officials announced that the security forces arrested a 10-year girl in southern Afghanistan who wanted to target police forces patrolling in the area. The security situation is not seeing any progress as the country is inching towards a crucial election. The forthcoming election that in a way or another would considerably be affected by security situation is expected to shape Afghanistan’s post-2014 political destiny.
In the eve of withdrawal of NATO forces, any significant rise in terrorist attacks and security deterioration would not be a good sign for a smooth presidential election and a successful security transition from foreign forces to the Afghan police and army. Though the Taliban activities are expected to decline in the winter season, the recent attacks is suggesting that the insurgents are going to intensify their activities ahead of the election. This year is going to be a crucial year for Afghanistan as the country is set for another milestone event in its recent decade of war against insurgency: completion of security transition to Afghans. Both the political and security processes are coming at a time when Afghanistan is in a shaky alliance with international allies which could, in turn, affect all three major political, security and economic transitions.
The spike of terrorist attacks in the start of 2014 is coming as there are already widespread concerns about security situation ahead of the presidential elections. The electoral bodies have voiced concerns about security of the election process, and asked the security agencies to prepare a comprehensive security assessment of the polling stations and submit it to the Independent Election Commission so that the IEC could arrange the electoral preparations considering the security situation across the country. The election bodies have warned that if the security agencies fail to maintain security of the polling stations, many polling stations might remain closed that could considerably affect elections credibility.