Data Gathered Date: 

Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 15:00

Voters in the eastern province of Nuristan said they see no change in their lives in the past five years.
They say no attention has been paid to their province, but they are participating in the election to bring change in the future.
The mountainous province with seven districts shares a border with Pakistan.
The provincial council of Nuristan has nine seats, three of them for women. The province has three seats in the Wolesi Jirga.
The economy of Nuristan is based on agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry.
The report below was prepared on the basis of interviews with eight people, two of them women, from the provincial capital and five districts last week.
Teacher: No attention has been paid to us
Mualim Ainullah Sharaf, a 60-year-old resident of Loy Kalay of Waigal district, said no change had occurred in his life in the past five years.
Sharaf, who is father of 10 sons and daughters, said he was a teacher in the past and his life would remain the same forever.
He is taking part in the elections but is not sure that there will be transparency, because there is no peace in the area.
If he met the president, Sharaf says his first demand will be to end corruption. He said eradication of administrative corruption would help spend the aid money in the right areas to bring improvement in the lives of people.
Farmer: Barely enough to live on
Ghulam Muhammad, 61, who is the father of five children and resident of Waigal district, says no change is visible in his life in the past five years.
He said he has always been a farmer. He toils all day but earns only enough to remain alive.
He is not happy with the government and says there is very little agricultural land for farmers. He said the government was not providing improved seeds or fertilizers to Nuristan as has been provided to farmers in other provinces.
He knows only three among the candidates and has no information about the rest. His demand from the future president is to form a government where the officials stay in their provinces and care for the welfare of the people.
He said all the key officials of the provincial government were living in Nangarhar and Kunar. There is no administration and no concrete plan to bring improvement to the lives of people, he said.
Village woman: Provide us electricity
Forty-year-old Salma, who is a resident of Noor Gram district, says although no change has occurred in their daily lives in the past five years, a road was built to connect their village with Laghman province.
Bringing wood from the nearby mountain, Salma said she would participate in the elections to decide her future. She does not understand about the transparency in elections.
She knows only Hamid Karzai among the candidates.
Her first demand from the president is to provide electricity to their village.
Salma was earning for her family through embroidery work in Peshawar. She says she cannot use the sewing machine because there is no electricity, so her income is much less because of that.
Journalist: Construct roads
Keel Zadar, resident of Paroon and a journalist of the local radio in Nuristan, Kala Gosh, said positive change had occurred in his life in the past five years.
He said he was a student five years ago, but now is working with a radio station and getting a salary which had improved his life.
He said he was participating in the election to decide his future. His first demand from the president is construction of roads in the province.
He said people coming from districts to the provincial capital of Paroon must first go to all the way to Laghman, then to Nangahar and Kunar, and then reach Paroon.
Shopkeeper: Ensure security
Najmuddin, 22, resident of Do Aab district, criticised the existing system and said no change had occurred in his life except bombings.
He said participation in the elections was necessary to get rid of the bombing and bring peace by giving votes to the right candidate.
He knows only three among the presidential candidates. His first demand from the president is to ensure peace and security.
The major security problems also cause general lawlessness. Najmuddin brings stock for his shop from Kunar every three months, and was looted three times while traveling on the road.
Former driver: Provide employment
Muhammad Yousaf, 43, resident of Nek Mok village of Bargmatal district, says his life has gotten worse in the past five years.
He says he was working as a driver in Peshawar five years back and had a happy life. However, since his return here, he is facing problems because there is no job and only  poverty.
He voted in the previous elections, but does not want to vote this time. The president elects himself on the votes of poor people but does not pay heed to the people after election, he believes.
Unless the president accepts Nuristanis as the people of this land and pays attention to their conditions, Yousaf will not participate in the elections.
He also suspects the transparency of the election and says that the only man who will be elected as president will be the one who enjoys support from the United States.
He knows only four of the 37 candidates. His first demand from the president is to provide jobs for the people.
Educated woman: Forgotten all learning
Shehla, 34, resident of Mawa area of Do Aab district, who received her education outside Afghanistan, says she cannot go out of the house because it's unsafe. 
She was a skilled worker during her stay in Peshawar. However, she says she has forgotten all the learning now.
Shehla says there is no positive change in her life in the past five years. She says she is using her vote to decide her own fate. However, she fears the election may not be transparent.
If came across the president, Shela says she will request him to ensure peace in the country.
Head of a civil society group: “No government, no peace”
Head of the youth society in Nuristan and resident of Mandol district Qudratullah says no development is visible in his district in the past five years.
The 25-year-old said there were no schools in the district in the past and the situation is the same now.
He said most people in Mandol district had not registered for the election, because of difficulties in travel and security problems, so they will not be able to participate in the elections.
He says he only knows the incumbent president who did nothing for his district. He does not know about the other candidates.
He is doubtful about the elections and says: "Where there is no government, there is no peace. And where there is no peace, there is no transparency."
If he were to come across the president, he says, his fist demand would be to consider the people of Nuristan as his own people and treat them as people of other provinces.