Afghan gov't urges Taliban to avoid election threats

  • 23:21 06 August 2019

Afghan gov't urges Taliban to avoid election threats

The Afghan government on Tuesday called on the Taliban to refrain from threats to the election process and urged the insurgents to demonstrate practical steps for peace in the country, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

The office of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said in a statement that casting vote is the legitimate right of the citizens and the Taliban should avoid threatening them.

It added all preparations for a free, transparent and inclusive presidential election have been ensured so that Afghans can directly contribute to a legitimate leadership.

The presidency reminded the Taliban that contrary to their claims much of the election funding has been provided by the Afghan government and the process is fully managed by the Afghans.

“We call on the Taliban -- who are apparently chanting for peace but in practice threatens Afghan people to death on daily basis -- to demonstrate peace in action and refrain from threatening the Afghan people,” read the statement.

“The Afghan people have in the past proven that threats and intimidation by Afghanistan's enemies cannot prevent them from participating in national and decisive processes. This time, our people will again go to the polls and determine the future of their country through their direct vote, and would outshine the enemies of the Afghan people's freedom,” it added.

The presidential election in Afghanistan is set to be held on Sept. 28 later this year.

Earlier in the day, the Taliban issued a stern warning that people must stay away from election related gatherings and rallies or could become potential targets.

In a social media post, the insurgents stressed the citizens must not continually fall for the “cunning political traps and refrain from participating in such a process where their votes do not actually hold any value”.

The Taliban also called upon foreigners not to declare support for this process or commit financial resources, but instead to ensure that the ongoing peace process in these critical moments is not “sabotaged”.

In its special report titled “2018 Elections Violence”, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) noted last year the Taliban launched deliberate campaign of violence and intimidation to disrupt parliamentary elections.

The report verified a total of 435 civilian casualties -- 56 deaths and 379 injured -- in October 2018.