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Senators View Insecurity as a Threat to Polls

Senators View Insecurity as a Threat to Polls

KABUL – A number of Meshrano Jirga members on Sunday warned holding next year’s elections would be impossible if effective steps were not taken to control the security. Addressing the upper house, a public representative from central Kapisa province said insecurity had sharply increased across the country, including in the capital Kabul, in recent months.

Maulvi Mohiuddin Munsef accused the Taliban of making all-out efforts to step up attacks in different parts of the country in a bid to scuttle the presidential and provincial council polls. “If security isn’t enforced immediately, no one will be able to live safely in the country. Conducting an inclusive election will be far more difficult,” the parliamentarian said.

Gulalai Akbari, a senator from the remote northeastern province of Badakhshan, also saw little chance of credible elections on schedule. “Once a peaceful province, Badakhshan has lately become restive. Large swathes of six districts there are under Taliban’s control,” she said, stressing the need for stringent measures to rein in the insurgents.

Her colleague from Kabul, Khaliqdad Balaghi, blasted security forces “for sleeping” at a time when the country was sliding into unrest. He appeared pessimistic about the timely conduct of polls if the situation remained unchanged. Deputy Chairman Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, who chaired the session, also assailed the militants for trying to disrupt the electoral process.

Security organs must do all they could to pave the ground for satisfactorily conduction the elections, so critical to the country’s future, he said. But Ministry of Interior spokesman Ghulam Siddique Siddiqui told Pajhwok Afghan News comprehensive security plans for the polls had been drawn up. “As part of our strategy, high security threats should be lowered to the average level, general threats to the low level…before the election day,” he said. (PAN)

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