Security up in Uruzgan in run-up to vote

TARINKOT (Pajhwok): Officials in central Uruzgan province on Wednesday said tight security measures had been put in place around polling stations for the April 5 presidential and provincial elections.
Police chief, Brig Gen. Matiullah Khan, in an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, said the number of security posts had been increased in the areas where polling stations were located.
A searching operation was underway across the province to address security threats, he said. “I assure Uruzgan residents security forces would use all their ability to protect the vote. Voters will feel safe turning to polling stations.”
He added all polling sites in the province, where the security environment was being improved in the run-up to the vote, would open on Election Day.
Separately, 205th Atal Military Corps Commander Gen. Mohammad Rassoul Kandahari said Afghan forces would employ all resources at their disposal to maintain security for polling sites.
“We have encountered no major problem after the withdrawal of foreign forces from Uruzgan; we have been able to maintain security in all areas. Afghan soldiers have been deployed to some areas to boost security,” he said.
Residents are also hopeful of streaming to polling stations in a safe environment. A dweller of Mehrabad area, Mohammad Wali, said he had obtained his voter card and would vote for a candidate of his choice.
“I didn’t apply for a voter card in the previous elections because of insecurity,” Wali recalled.
A tribal elder, Noorullah, acknowledged security in their area had improved, with most people interested in taking part in the election process.
Regional Independent Election Commission (IEC) chief, Abdul Hameed Sharifi, also saw no threat to polling stations. “All 50 polling sites in the province are open and there is no security concern.”