Home South Asia Afghanistan Afghan General Elections: Violence amidst votes

Afghan General Elections: Violence amidst votes


News Analysis |

In the latest event of violence, 15 Afghan soldiers died when they were ambushed by the Taliban Insurgents. The clash happened in the Kunduz province which is factually one of the most contested regions of Afghan Taliban. Amruddin Wali, a member of the provincial council in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, said 15 members of the paramilitary border police were killed when Taliban fighters attacked a checkpoint in Qala-e Zal district.

In an airstrike earlier, nearly 21 Taliban fighters are claimed to have been killed by the Afghan government and intelligence officials. The violence continues in the war-torn country with the general elections scheduled to take place on 20th of October. Taliban have asked the people of Afghanistan to boycott the upcoming elections as they legitimize the presence of foreign troops on Afghan soil.

The capacity of Afghan forces to fight the extremism needs to be improved alongside developing a self-sustaining economic model which would generate the revenue necessary to run the government.

A statement from the Taliban urged the withdrawal of foreign troops and deemed it the only viable option for the long-term peace for Afghanistan. Despite the threat coming from Taliban that government forces will be targeted on the Election Day, the enthusiasm for the elections is still imminent, especially in the urban areas.

Read more: Taliban vow to attack Afghan security forces during elections

The Afghan elections are often seen with incredulity because of the security situation which allows the rigging and fraud in the electoral process. But many Afghans believe that a fraudulent election is still better than having no election at all. The parliamentary polls were originally set to be held in early 2015 following presidential elections but were delayed to July 7, 2018, and were then pushed to October 20 due to security fears and reforms in voter registration.

UN mission in Afghanistan is still optimistic about the security arrangements notwithstanding the latest debacle which led to the death of 15 Afghan Soldiers. UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) notes that, despite significant security challenges, progress has been made by the country’s security forces in creating conditions for the majority of citizens to exercise their right to vote.

Amruddin Wali, a member of the provincial council in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, said 15 members of the paramilitary border police were killed when Taliban fighters attacked a checkpoint in Qala-e Zal district.

“Afghanistan’s security forces are fully responsible for providing security for the elections process,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “Adequate security is required to give the opportunity to as many eligible voters as possible to exercise their constitutional rights.” It is significant to mention here that the number of foreign troops currently present in Afghanistan is not enough to provide the security for the election all over the country.

It leaves Afghan Armed Force personnel to do the job who, from the series of events, has shown a lack of capacity to counter the menace of Taliban. The head of UNAMA emphasized that Afghans should not be obstructed, intimidated or denied their right to choose their representatives and shape their country’s future. “Any violence or intimidation directed at voters, candidates or electoral officials is totally unacceptable, and I unequivocally condemn it,” the UN envoy stressed, noting recent attacks across the country against candidates, their teams and potential voters.

Read more: Afghan election candidate among eight killed in suicide attack

The Ministry of Interior has for several months led the coordination of a national security planning process for the elections. It has done so with the Ministry of Defence and the National Directorate of Security with the support of Resolute Support and in consultation with the Independent Election Commission (IEC). UNAMA welcomes the allocation of additional resources for female security personnel to enhance women’s participation.

The commencement of parliamentary elections are no doubt a feat with all its imperfections but with the U.S exploring the options to leave the country, the more important question is whether the current Afghan national setup is sustainable enough to continue without the U.S support? Although the US is pursuing a ‘back channel’ at the moment to initiate ‘an open channel dialogue’ with the Taliban, it is going to take some time and the aforementioned question needs to be addressed.

The capacity of Afghan forces to fight the extremism needs to be improved alongside developing a self-sustaining economic model which would generate the revenue necessary to run the government.