Almost 190,000 people register to vote in seven days

An election commissioner says the turnout at voter registration centers has not been satisfactory so far.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) said on Saturday, that 189,061 people, including just over 42,000 women, registered in the first seven days after the launch of the voter registration process last week.

One IEC member said the turnout had not been satisfactory.

“People’s turnout at voter registration centers is unfortunately not satisfactory,” IEC commissioner Maliha Hassan said.

The Head of the Massoud Foundation and a former diplomat, Ahmad Wali Massoud, meanwhile called on the people to participate and make sure they register and vote so as to prevent election fraud as experienced in the past.

“If we leave the ground, for sure, those who committed fraud and those who violated the people’s rights to select candidates will come back once again,” Massoud said.


Gen Raziq Calls On People to Vote in Upcoming Elections

Kandahar police chief, who along with his wife, registered his name to vote, said this time the upcoming elections appear to be different to those held in the past.

Kandahar police chief General Abdul Raziq on Wednesday called on Kandahar residents in the southern province to participate in the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections.

Kandahar police chief, who along with his wife, registered his name to vote, said this time the upcoming elections appear to be different to those held in the past.

Meanwhile, a number of lawmakers in Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) have expressed concerns over the slow voter registration turnout so far.


Afghan intelligence chief to face parliamentary impeachment over growing instability

The Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), Chief Masoom Stanikzai will face parliamentary impeachment over deteriorating security situation in the country.

The head of the parliamentary committees on Wednesday decided regarding the impeachment of Mr. Stanikzai to brief the lawmakers regarding the growing instability.

The Lower House speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said the intelligence chief will be impeached on Wednesday.

Ibrahimi further added that the majority of the committee heads of the parliament voted to include the impeachment issue of Mr. Stanikzai in Wednesday’s session.


MoCN admits failure in preventing poppy cultivation

The Ministry of Counter-Narcotics (MoCN) admits its failure to eradicate poppy farms in the country, saying the ministry does not have the needed capability to prevent poppy cultivation.

“The eradication of poppy farms is impossible due to their high numbers. Terrorism and insecurity are also the main factors,” said Mahmoud Danishyar, the spokesman of MoCN.

According to MoCN statistics, poppy has been cultivated in nearly 328.000 hectares of lands in the country during the last year.

However, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said poppy cultivation has decreased compared to the previous year.

“The 2700 operations conducted by the MoCN in all across the country shows a decrease in poppy cultivation,” said Najib Danish, spokesman of MoI.


MoE: Afghan forces, insurgents use schools as strongholds

The Afghan security forces and the anti-government insurgent groups are using schools as military bases during offensives against each other, an official from the Afghan Ministry of Education (MoE) said Monday.

“About 67 schools are being used as military bases across the country,” MoE Spokesman Kabir Haqmal said. “Some of these schools are being used by the Afghan national security and defense forces while others by the anti-government forces.”

According to the officials, more than a thousand schools are still closed across the country where millions of students are deprived of education.

But a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior (MoI) rejected the allegations of Afghan forces using schools as their strongholds.


Paktia governor calls on Taliban to support elections

Shamim Khan Katawazi urged the Taliban to let people take part in the voter registration process.

Speaking at a ceremony to launch the voter registration process in Gardez city on Saturday, Paktia governor called on the Taliban to support the move and to not stop people from going to polling centers.
Paktia governor Shamim Khan Katawazi called on the Taliban to participate in the process and to achieve their goals through the process of voting.

“Taliban claims that they have Zurmat district under their control. They should come and participate in the election and have nominees for parliamentary and district council elections,” said Katawazai.
Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials in Paktia meanwhile said they will open 22 registration centers in Gardez city.

Head of the IEC in Paktia Mohammad Zahir Akbar called on Paktia residents to register in order to become eligible to vote for their chosen candidates in the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections.


Observers: Voters’ Registration Process Lacks Public Awareness Campaign

Criticizing the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Saturday, the election observers said that the voters’ registration process lacks public awareness campaign.

President Ashraf Ghani formally inaugurated the voters’ registration process for the upcoming parliamentary and district council’s elections today.


ANA Commander Suggests Reforms In Basic Military Training

An Afghan National Army (ANA) commander Hamed Saifi, who has led the war against insurgents for almost a decade across Afghanistan, has suggested that fundamental changes need to be brought in the way Afghan security forces are trained. 

Speaking to TOLOnews, Saifi, who is deployed to Kunduz’s Dasht-e-Archi district, said he has spent almost ten years on the battlefield.

“When the national army was established, our love for the country and love for the defense of the country and love for Islam encouraged us to join the national army,” said Saifi.


District governor killed in coordinated Taliban attack in Ghazni

A senior government official was killed in a coordinated attack by the Taliban militants in southeastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan.

The provincial police commandment in a statement confirmed that the district administrative governor of Khwaja Omar district Ali Shams Dost was killed in the attack last night.

The statement further added that the Taliban militants launched a coordinated attack on the district compound and security posts late on Wednesday night.

At least twenty seven Taliban insurgents were also killed during the clashes and airstrikes launched in response to the attack, the statement added.

In the meantime, the provincial police commandment said at least seven security personnel also lost their lives in the attack and at least nine others were wounded.


Peculiarities of the transition from war to political solution in Afghanistan were discussed in Moscow within the context of the regional activities

Ex-president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai: «I understand perfectly well that if Russia build new relations with Pakistan and Afghanistan, it can help us. Not the British as we kicked them out of the country several times, not the Americans as they’ve been killing us for 17 years, but Russia only».