Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, October 28th, 2021

Growing Concerns over Security of June 14 Polls

Less than week is remaining to the crucial second round of election in Afghanistan. The greatest hurdle to conducting the election is the worsening security condition. Concerns over security of candidates, their team members and voters have risen like never before. Recent attack on Dr. Abdullah Abdullah - the frontrunner of first round of election - as a result of which ten people were killed and scores of others were injured indicates the insurgents are executing their heinous plans for disrupting the democratic process in the country at all cost. The June 14 polls are deemed pivotal for the democratic future of Afghanistan and that is what its enemies resist.

Apparently, the insurgents have changed their tactic from attacking Independent Election Commission and its sub-units to attacking the candidates. If Abdullah had been killed in Friday’s terror attack, Afghanistan would undoubtedly move towards a bloody chaotic situation that would be extremely difficult for the government to control. Additionally, based on the Afghan constitution if a candidate dies before or after presidential election (prior to announcement of final results), new election must be conducted right from the beginning. Abdullah was lucky enough to escape the attack. A chaotic situation has been prevented.

Officials of ministries of defense and interior have formally announced Sunday 8 June as the beginning of execution of their election-specific security plans. Afghanistan security forces have been instructed to stay vigilant in areas where polling stations have been established. Meanwhile, strict security measures have been adopted at Afghan-Pak border crossings. Such security arrangements will no doubt aid the security of election. Nonetheless, security officials admit that arranging for security of Saturday’s polls would be more challenging than the first round of election. The weather has gotten warmer and Taliban have already announced their spring offensive.

The polling stations located in the insecure districts of Afghanistan are the most dangerous ones and at the high risk of Taliban attacks. In such areas, people can definitely not go to polling stations with confidence even if the government labels them as secure. But the Afghans have proved that fear of insurgents attacks cannot stop them from going to the polling stations. The new president who will be elected as a result of votes cast by such brave people must honor their courage, determination and patriotism by taking effective and practicable measures for leading the country out of grave security, political, social and economic challenges facing it.