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Are parliamentary polls possible?

Amidst continuous, even alarming rate of violent and terror acts, Afghan government of Ashraf Ghani is firm on his decision of holding parliamentary elections on coming 20th of current October whatever might be the situation or its outcomes. No doubt to commend interests and involvement of Afghans in the election process, which also confirm their faith in democracy, rule of law and supremacy of parliament. But it is crystal clear that due to frequent deadly terrorist attacks during the election process majority of Afghans have kept themselves away from the electorate’s registration process. According to Afghanistan Independent Election Commission data only 89, 18,107 persons have registered themselves as electorate for electing 249 members to Wolesi Jirga in October 20 elections. Amongst them majority 16, 39,609 are from Kabul province and minimum only 57,951 are from central Ghazni province. Still hundreds of non Muslim families of Hindu’s and Sikhs are scattered in parts and parcels of Afghanistan but strength of registered electorates from both the communities is only 583. Very low even disappointing registration process confirms interests in the election process. In fact little before the election process, the militants have made invasion with help of their external financiers on Ghazni in third and fourth week of July, thus making uncertain people from all over this historical part of Afghanistan. And with commencing of electorates registration process, the militants stormed the registration offices with suicide bombers, bombs and other guns in Kabul, Jalalabad, Helmand, Faryab and several other main cities and towns throughout Afghanistan. Hundreds of people either killed or wounded in elections related violent and terrorist acts. Beside others a number of candidates like Sardar Otar Singh have also been killed in these terrorist acts. Now when through US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, the US succeeded in a major breakthrough of holding direct talks with Taliban Qatar office, therefore, Afghan government needs to first focus on declaration of a ceasefire for ensuring completion of election process. If Taliban are reluctant to declare ceasefire, then in such a case going to polls could be considered a move push the civilians into another era of bloodshed. The Afghans from last four decades are ahead with worst kind of violence, aggression and imported hostilities. They couldn’t afford more bloodshed and hostilities on their motherland. On such grounds, Afghan government needs to re-visit the election process. Similarly at this crucial stage, Afghan government also needs to take the nation into confidence regarding first ever direct talks between US and Taliban, shift in US Afghan policies, reconciliation process and forthcoming Presidential election. And for the purpose, it needs to initiate steps for convening the traditional Loya Jirga-which always proved an instrument in pulling Afghanistan and its people out of crises and dangers.

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