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Afghanistan: ‘My Best Weapon to Fight the Taliban is My Voter Card’
Written by Samea Shanori On 31 March 2014 @ 3:23 am | 1 Comment
In Afghanistan, Central Asia & Caucasus, Citizen Media, Elections, Feature, Politics, War & Conflict
With less than a week before the first-ever democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan, violence across the country has increased dramatically with daily explosions and gunfights. Dozens have been killed in these assaults. Taliban insurgents have vowed to derail  the presidential and provincial council elections on April 5 with bombings and assassinations.
On March 29 Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission (IEC) headquarters in Kabul was attacked  by four Taliban militants. The insurgents were all gunned down. On March 28 the Roots of Peace guesthouse was stormed  by the Taliban, resulting in a child's death. In another attack on Kabul's Serena Hotel March 21, nine people including an AFP journalist, Sardar Ahmad, and an election observer, were killed .
— Syed Anwar (@Sayed_Anwer) March 29, 2014 
Massood Sanjer's tweet reads:
Two attacks at the same time. Kabul and Kunar. Kabul bank branch in Kanur and IEC office in Kabul. Firing continues. — Massood Sanjer (@MassoodSanjer) March 25, 2014 
LT. Mustafa Kazemi tweets quoting Sardar Ahmad's nephew:
Sardar Ahmad's nephew: “I have no message for the Taliban. One can communicate with humans but not with animals.” — LT. Mustafa Kazemi (@combatjourno) March 22, 2014 
Lina Rozbih-Haidari, an Afghan journalist, outraged by Friday's guesthouse attack, posted  on her official Facebook page:
When claiming responsibility for terrorist attacks, Taliban reason that they are targeting foreigners. While looking at pictures of today's incident, I saw these foreigners, including unarmed women and children, who mostly work for humanitarian organizations and live with their families in these guesthouses.
This is Taliban's jihad: targeting unarmed Afghan and foreign women and children in hotels, polling stations, bazars, schools, mosques, during praying, during work……..
Can wars be fought more cowardly than this? Indeed Afghanistan has fallen into the hands of a hypocrite, weak, immoral and irrational enemy. They call it Islam. Be brave enough and fight bravely! Not cowardly by killing innocent and defenseless women, men and children.
While Emma Graham-Harrison, the Guardian correspondent for Afghanistan, tweeted after the assault on IEC headquarters:
Afghan election commission headquarters under attack, their spokesman says from inside safe room. Fourth Kabul attack in 10 days
— Emma Graham-Harrison (@_EmmaGH) March 29, 2014 
Worried about the Taliban's future targets, Marzia Faraz's tweets:
— Marzia Faraz (@Marzofaraz) March 29, 2014 
Another angry tweet related to the attack on Serena Hotel:
Karzai, NDS, and Kabul Serena security must answer for the killing of #SardarAhmad  … The screams of his family still in my head.
— Gharghasht (@Gharghasht) March 22, 2014 
In the past, Afghan elections were characterized by a general lack of political awareness among the public. However, the 2014 campaign has seen a great difference – candidates are actively trying to reach out to citizens, traveling to different provinces in order to engage with a diverse, dispersed electorate. Posters of the candidates are all over the country and their televised debates were viewed  live by millions of Afghans. Despite insecurity and definite possibilities of electoral fraud, Afghans are excited by the possibility of engaging in a genuinely competitive vote. Ahmad Shuja tweeted a photo which shows people waiting in a long line to get their voting cards.
— Ahmad Shuja احمدشجاع (@AhmadShuja) March 29, 2014 
Afghan journalist, Farzad Lami, referring to the recent survey conducted  by the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA), tweeted:
Despite of security concerns 75% of Afghans want to participate in presidential elections scheduled for April 5. A new survey indicates.
— Farzad Lami (@FarzadLameh) March 26, 2014 
Lotfullah Najafizada's tweet quoted a first-time-voter:
“My best weapon to fight the Taliban is my voter card,” said first-time-voter Ahmad, calling on Afghans to get armed with voter cards now.
— Lotfullah Najafizada (@LNajafizada) March 29, 2014 
Marshal Öljaitü tweeted:
#Kabul : 5 attacks in 8 days. Desperate Taliban. High turnout in the Afghan election will be the public's verdict against Taliban.
— Marshal Öljaitü (@aushpaz) March 30, 2014 
Some candidates have also expressed their concerns about the insurgency attacks and the upcoming elections. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai , a presidential candidate, tweets:
We condemn the terrorist attacks on civilians. It gives us more reasons to work harder for ensuring a better and peaceful future for Afghans
— Ashraf Ghani (@ashrafghani) March 29, 2014 
A tweet from Abdul Rashid Dostum , a candidate for Vice President, claims that the coming election will be successful because Afghans have strong faith in it.
Enemies of Afghan people won't succeed in their inauspicious deeds. People are committed for elections.
— Abdul Rashid Dostum (@ARashidDostum) March 25, 2014 
While Zalmai Rassoul ‘s campaign team posted on twitter, condemning the attacks:
We strongly condemn yesterday’s #Insurgent  attack on Kabul Serena Hotel and today’s explosion in Khakrez district of Kandahar province.
— Dr. Zalmai Rassoul (@Zalmai_Rassoul) March 21, 2014 
Afghanistan's lame duck incumbent Hamid Karzai refuses to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States until after the elections. So far, the domestic security situation makes an unpromising background for this crucial vote. Among the Taliban's most recent victims have been a candidate  in the provincial elections, foreign NGO workers and staff  at IEC offices across the country.
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/03/31/afghanistan-my-best-weapon-to-fight-the-taliban-is-my-voter-card/
URLs in this post:
 to derail: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2014/03/taliban-vow-disrupt-afghanistan-elections-201431073119570102.html
 attacked: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/29/us-afghanistan-election-attacks-idUSBREA2S05C20140329
 stormed: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/28/us-afghanistan-attacks-idUSBREA2R0TT20140328
 were killed: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/21/taliban-gunmen-kill-nine-kabul-serena-hotel
 Afghans continue to live out their normal lives in spite of ongoing concerns over the insurgent attacks. Syed Anwar tweeted after the attack on IEC headquarters:: http://http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02866/Afghanistan_2866563b.jpg
 #IEC: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23IEC&src=hash
 #Kabul: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Kabul&src=hash
 pic.twitter.com/iSOR62FH1v: http://t.co/iSOR62FH1v
 March 29, 2014: https://twitter.com/Sayed_Anwer/statuses/449930595687497728
 March 25, 2014: https://twitter.com/MassoodSanjer/statuses/448367095672107009
 March 22, 2014: https://twitter.com/combatjourno/statuses/447428407937486848
 posted: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lina-Rozbih-Haidari/346453785286
 March 29, 2014: https://twitter.com/_EmmaGH/statuses/449823843222568960
 #HotelSerena: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23HotelSerena&src=hash
 March 29, 2014: https://twitter.com/Marzofaraz/statuses/449963497775181824
 #SardarAhmad: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23SardarAhmad&src=hash
 March 22, 2014: https://twitter.com/Gharghasht/statuses/447451680695934976
 were viewed: http://www.khaama.com/7-afghan-soldiers-13-militants-killed-in-latest-wave-of-violence-2931
 #afgelect2014: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23afgelect2014&src=hash
 pic.twitter.com/gOd52Thv2T: http://t.co/gOd52Thv2T
 March 29, 2014: https://twitter.com/AhmadShuja/statuses/449770853929336832
 conducted: http://tribune.com.pk/story/688528/undeterred-by-taliban-onslaught-election-candidates-take-polls-head-on/
 March 26, 2014: https://twitter.com/FarzadLameh/statuses/448814819391447040
 March 29, 2014: https://twitter.com/LNajafizada/statuses/449835602188304384
 March 30, 2014: https://twitter.com/aushpaz/statuses/450145332693700608
 Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai: http://www.khaama.com/ashraf-ghani-ahmadzai-emerges-as-leading-presidential-candidate-survey-3502
 March 29, 2014: https://twitter.com/ashrafghani/statuses/449868936340062208
 Abdul Rashid Dostum: http://www.tolonews.com/elections2014/ashraf-ghani-ahmadzai
 March 25, 2014: https://twitter.com/ARashidDostum/statuses/448452169554214913
 Zalmai Rassoul: http://www.tolonews.com/elections2014/zalmai-rassoul
 #Insurgent: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Insurgent&src=hash
 March 21, 2014: https://twitter.com/Zalmai_Rassoul/statuses/446918243824177152
 candidate: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/taliban-attack-afghan-police-south-23033571
 staff: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/29/taliban-suicide-bombers-attack-afghan-electoral-commission-kabul
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