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Editorial: Secure voter-registration centers

From the time when Independent Election Commission (IEC) kicked off registration process, security was the biggest headache for the Afghan masses, even IEC showed concern, asking the security institutions for fully security measurement. Over the next two months, as many as 14 million adults at more than 7,000 registration centers across the country would be cataloged. Highlighting security concerns surrounding the election process, IEC said the main challenge is insecurity, particularly in rural areas. In addition to the Taliban and Daesh terrorist outfits, local powers, illegal militias and strongmen are also another bother and will leave no stone unturned to interfere in the election process. However, poor security with fears of attacks from the insurgent is a combined nuisance that definitely causes dejection among Afghans—despite willing to cast vote for their favorite candidates, but unfortunately, there would be mess up in their participation. There is no doubt that parliamentary and council districts election is seen as a litmus test for stability in Afghanistan. It is also a creditability test for the National Unity Government after a fraud-marred presidential poll, resulting into already delay in parliamentary election. Unfortunately, the sworn enemies (Taliban insurgents) already vowed to disrupt this election, putting it a symbolic move with warning people against chipping in. It is worth mentioning that the October 20 polls were originally set to be held in 2015 following presidential elections the previous year. But security fears and logistical problems repeatedly pushed back the process with more stalemates in sight. Finally the date is set and the candidates will contest the 249 seats in Wolesi Jirga for five-year terms–the member of district council alike. Sans zero percent doubt, the Afghan masses are willing to vote in a bid to vastly exercise one of the key pillars of democracy. But today (Sunday) a suicide bomber targeted a voter-registration center, martyring over 50 civilians, injuring over 100 others. Those who martyred were simply discharging their national obligation—they lined up to register to vote in upcoming parliamentary and district council elections. It has been decades now that Afghan masses repetitively shedding bloods for a better tomorrow—but so far it ended up in futile with no improvement in society, reversely, everything is getting worse from bad. Enough is enough—there is no room left for Afghan masses to see their dearest and nearest one dying. The bone of contention is insecurity, thus the security officials must adopt solid step to maintain voter’s security and do everything under capacity to prevent similar attack likely to raise concerns about security of upcoming elections.

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