Data Gathered Date: 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 14:45

QALAT (PAN): People of Zabul express greater enthusiasm to take part in elections and cast their votes but they want that improvement of security is pre-requisite to the polls.
It merits mention the volatile Zabul is the southern province alongside the Durand Line, sharing borders with Kandahar, Helmand, Aurozgan and Ghazni provinces. It has 12 administrative units including its provincial capital, Qalat. Its provincial council has nine members with three of them are female.
Student: I will cast my vote as it is my strength.
Din Mohammad, a student said he was going to vote in favour of his choice candidate in an attempt to take part in the country’s political transition. “I believe vote is my power and my vote can help an MP or even the president to win,” he added.
Shopkeeper: It is my responsibility to cast my vote.
Mohammad Ibrahim, a shopkeeper said he would use his right to vote because ballots were not against the teachings of Islam. “I have heard that a person will be held accountable if he/ she does not use the right to vote.”
Teacher: Casting vote is mandatory because it will help strengthen our country.
Mohammadullah, a teacher from Zabul said every eligible Afghan had the right to vote under the constitution of the country. Fair and independent ballots were among the pillars of democracy in any society, he said, adding elections would further bring stability to Afghanistan and he would cast his vote in larger national interests.  
A daily wage laborer: I use vote in an attempt to address my problems.  
Abdul Halim, a daily wage laborer said he did not cast his vote in the previous elections, costing him of losing his contacts with any MP or government official. He said his problems were multiplied because he could not approach any official to help resolve his problems. “I will vote in favour of a person whom I personally know so that I can approach him any time to share my problems with him,” he added.
 Government employee: Vote is precious and decides country’s future.
Lailuma, a government employee said she was convinced that a single vote could decide the fate of an election candidate after attending public awareness meetings being organized by the Independent Election Commission.
She said men and women had equally important role in the ballots, adding that a single vote could change the results in favour or against an election contender. “Keeping in view the importance of the vote, I will cast my vote in favour of a candidate who can better serve the country,” she added.   
An employee of an NGO: I will vote if security is improved.
Samiullah, an NGO employee said he would use his right to vote if security was improved during the elections. “It is the responsibility of every Afghan to participate in the elections because polls decide the future course of a country.”
 Student: I will vote to stop bad candidates.
A student Samiullah said he would for sure take part in the ballots because it was imperative for every Afghan to use his/her right of vote enshrined by the constitution. “I am ready to cast my vote. If we do don’t participate then incompetent candidates will win. I am taking part in the polls to prevent bad guys to be elected.”
A religious scholar: Ballot is the best way to elect a leader with consensus.
Maulvi Abdulnafi Akhundzada, a religious scholar from the province said Islam allowed electing a leader with joint consultation and evolving consensus. He said ballot was the best possible way throughout the world including Islamic society to choose the leader. “As election is something new in the country and people’s perception is different, I want to vote in an attempt to show others that it is not something against the teachings of Islam.”
Farmer: I will vote because casting vote was my long-standing dream.
Mohammad Shakir, a farmer from the province said he spent years in Pakistan where people used to rush for polling stations to cast their votes and he had wished to use the right of vote in his country. “Today, I am seeing the same elections are taking place in my country and I am very pleased. I want to use my right to vote and pray to Almighty Allah to bring stability to our country so that we can live in peace.”