For years now, the Taliban has attacked and controlled areas of Afghanistan to create a radical Islamic state. Recently, the Washington Post announced that on October 20, election day, the Taliban would cause chaos to disrupt voting. This is no shock as there have recently been increasing attacks by the Taliban on the government and civilians. Notably, Washington Post shows that the Taliban will do anything to attack the country’s democracy, including by threatening candidates and civilians.
As election day comes closer many poll stations have shut down and will not re-open to avoid any casualties. In a statement reported by the Washington Post, the Taliban claimed that the system is corrupt and will only benefit President Ashraf Ghani’s re-election. They insist that Afghans should resist voting. Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesperson for the Taliban has claimed that the group believes that the United States is using this election for their own benefit and to gain influence, Reuters reports. Mujahid also says that for Afghanistan to be at peace all foreign occupying forces should be removed from the country and that an Islamic sovereignty must be in place. Notably, President Ashraf Ghani has not spoken out on the matter nor has anyone on his team.
This has brought into question the security of the polling stations. Although two thousand polling stations have been shut down due to these threats, many polling stations will be secured to ensure civilians are able to cast their votes. Washington Post claims that there will be thousands of Afghan and U.S. led troops across many locations on election day.
The power struggle between the Taliban and the government will continue after election day as the Taliban have expressed their disbelief in the system and will not accept any result. As the Taliban continue to threaten locals, the government and the United States are creating a more efficient and safer election day for Afghans. However, these threats will impact those who want to cast votes. We have seen many attacks on civilians, such as the many suicide bombings that occur on religious holidays, previous election days and so on. These are conducted by the Taliban who dislike values such as democracy. To find a balance, violence needs to stop, and both parties need to discuss the creation of a peaceful country that protects the Afghan people’s safety, security and future.
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