Tribal elders from eleven districts of Loya Paktia --- a region comprising Paktia, Khost and Paktika provinces in the country’s southeast --- on Tuesday asked the Taliban not to disrupt the electoral process.
About 400 tribal elders and youth representatives from five districts of Paktika, three of Khost and as many towns of Paktia held a gathering in Khost City, the capital of Khost province.
Religious scholar and tribal elder Mohammad Sardar Zadran told the gathering that the second round of presidential election would decide Afghanistan’s fate.
He urged the Taliban as well as the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan led by Gulbadin Hekmatyar that they should not only avoid derailing the elections but should also ask their followers to participate in it.
Zadran said they were ready to raise and deploy tribal militias to assist Afghan security forces on the election day.
“We have talked about this with tribal elders in other areas of Loya Paktia that we should offer volunteers to assist security forces in maintaining security,” the elder said.
Zadran tribe leader Dr. Mohammad Gul Babrakzoy Zadran told the gathering that he did not see any serious security threats to the election, but they should be ready to deal with possible occurrences.
He urged security organs to spare no effort in paving the ground for people to widely participate in the presidential election.
Wolesi Jirga member from Khost Sahira Sharif Zadran said women’s participation was equally important like that of men in the crucial election.
She called on the Zadran and other tribes to allow their women to cast their votes and asked security forces to perform their job efficiently.