Data Gathered Date: 

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 09:45

Restoration of peace, alleviation of poverty and construction of water dams are on top of the list for the people of the central Uruzgan province.
The province having six districts is located 670 kilometres south of the central capital Kabul. Its provincial council has nine seats with three of them for women.
According to the election commission, 26 candidates have registered their names for the provincial council seats. Only two of them are women.
Roadside bomb blasts, rockets and direct attacks and operations by foreign troops are the key problems faced by the people of this province. However, they said they want to participate in the polls and elect their president and members of the provincial council.
This report is prepared on the basis of interviews with 10 people from five districts and the provincial capital. Two of the interviewees are women.
A mother: No more war
Khiyal Bibi, 55, resident of Tori village of the provincial capital of Tirinkot, lost six sons in the wars, and says there must be an end to the fighting now.
She says her sons were killed in different regimes. She wants the next president to ensure peace so that people could earn a livelihood for themselves and their families.
Khiyal Bibi says the number of Taliban had increased in her area. She says: "I lost all my family members and this is why I hate war."
She knows only Hamid Karzai among the 37 presidential canddiates. About the reason that only two women are running for three seats in the province, she says women in Uruzgan are afraid of the Taliban.
She says even men don't dare to go out of the city, so how can women come forward to register themselves as candidates for the provincial council?
Driver: People should be consulted in appointments
Din Muhammad, a resident of Chora district, is a driver. He believes one of the reasons for the infamy of the present government was the appointment of governors and district chiefs without consultation with the people.
If governor and district chiefs are appointed by choice of people, this will help improve the situation as people will cooperate with the government, he said.
He termed the reconstruction works completed in the past seven years “ineffective” and accused the district chiefs and police chiefs of taking bribes from contractors of projects.
Haji Muhammad Wali: Confidence in election
Resident of Deh Rahod district Haji Muhammad Wali is confident of the upcoming polls. He says they will be held and every vote will be counted.
He is not satisfied with living conditions in the past five years, and still is determined to take part in the elections.
According to him, the reason behind the poor quality of work is involvement of governors and district chiefs in widespread corruption.
His first demand from the next president is to ensure peace. Secondly, schools and hospitals should be constructed and clean drinking water should be provided to people, he said.
A seamstress: Will vote despite threats
Bobo, 35, resident of Tori village of Tirinkot, says security was the major issue that must be addressed.
Bobo was trained by the Women Affairs Department in sewing. She was then given a sewing machine and other necessary items to start working.
But now she is faced with Taliban threats. She says Taliban warned her to stop working or be killed. However, she is the head of her family and compelled to have a job.
Bobo says: "Each day I fear death by a Taliban bullet."
Despite all threats, she is determined to take part in voting for both the provincial council and president.
About participation in the provincial council elections, she said: "I want to help push my colleague to the provincial council to work for us."
Farmer: Sharia should be implemented
Fifty-year-old Muhammad Qasar is a resident of Tirinkot. He believes the government cannot succeed in any sector unless sharia is implemented in the country.
He hoped the next president would punish each and every criminal in line with sharia. For example, he says, the hands of a thief should be chopped off publicly to teach a lesson to other people.
He says voting is important to elect the president and this is why he is using his vote. At the same time, he says no reconstruction work has been done in his area over the past five years.
Three years ago, work was launched on construction of a bridge, but it has not been completed so far.
Government official: Water resources should be tapped
Janan Aka is resident of Khas Uruzgan district. He wants the government to tap the water resources after eradicating corruption.
Aka says the province had a lot of water resources, but they do not benefit the people. Not a single water project has been started in the village, says Aka.
He suggests that government should construct dams to provide irrigation water for farmers as well as generate electricity.
Aka says he does not participate in the presidential election because the president is nominated by foreigners. However, he is participating in the provincial council elections. He says he will vote for a candidate whom he knows.
Young man: Tribal balance in government
Khyber Zapand, resident of Chinarto district, says he will vote if there is peace. He had studied up to 12th class. Zapand criticised the government and said nothing had been done for Uruzgan in the past.
The province does not have a single park where people can refresh themselves, says the student.
He wants the next president to provide equal shares to all tribes in the government. He believes non-participation of the tribes in government was the reason for the present security situation and if left unaddressed, it will continue.
He said little or nothing had been done in his village in terms of reconstruction by the government. Only two small bridges and a few wells have been dug in his village during the past few years.
Seminaries and schools should be constructed
Inamullah, resident of Charchino district, says he hopes the next president would focus on education and training in the country and will construct madrassas and schools.
He says the literacy rate is very low in the country because there are so few schools and madrassas. He also demanded construction of a hospital to treat the drug addicts, as many youths are drug addicts in the province.
About importance of votes, he says: "The president is elected with our votes. I don't agree that the United States is nominating the president."
Government official: Foreigners do not nominate president
Resident of the remote Garmavi village of Tirinkot Sher Muhammad Iqbal is working in the communication department. He says insecurity and no reconstruction are the main problems.
His demand from the next president is to make only those pledges to the people which he can fulfill.
He is participating in the elections and does not believe that the president is nominated by the United States. If it was so, the candidates would not spend so much on election campaign, he argued.
Iqbal added: "Their (candidates') struggle shows that president is elected by the people and not America. This is propaganda."