Thursday, January 29, 2009

Afghanistan elections put on hold as Taleban spreads chaos

Allauddin Khan/AP says in The Times,'The new US Administration is preparing to send an additional 30,000 troop
Tom Coghlan in Kabul says,'Presidential elections in Afghanistan have been deferred until mid-August, sparking fears of increasing political turmoil in the country.

The head of the Afghan Independent Electoral Commission, Javed Luddin, said that the delay had been caused by the difficult security conditions in many parts of the country and logistical and technical problems.

It had been widely expected that the May election would be postponed, not least because winter snow makes some parts of the country inaccessible during the first half of the year.

The new US Administration is preparing to send an additional 30,000 troops to the country and Britain is also expected to bolster its forces as part of an international effort to quell the Taleban insurgency.

Enthusiasm for the polls, seen as a critical test for the continued legitimacy of Western intervention, has been limited and voter registration, particularly in the south of the country where the Taleban is most active, derisory.

In the worst-hit provinces of Uruzgan, Helmand, Kandahar and Nimroz, only 56,000 people have registered; no registration centres have been able to open in five of Helmand’s 13 districts because of poor security. Fifteen per cent of those registered are women.'

Those who retain voter registration cards from the 2004 elections can still use them, but it is not known what proportion of the estimated 25 million population has the documents.

A spokesman for the Taleban, Zabiullah Mujahed, said that the insurgents were determined to prevent the elections from going ahead. “People are not happy about elections. They are just symbolic and everything will be chosen by the US President Obama. People don’t have a good memory from the last elections. We will support the people and defend them against the elections,” he said.'

We are in the country because of 9/11. Iraq shows you get no thanks for trying to save Muslims from tyranny but I believe our thankless task should continue for a Taliban run country would be completely oppressive, especially to women. Islem has never united Afghanistan, a country of warring tribes. The only thing historically to unite the country is foreign invasion. Britain did it in the 19th century, USSR in he 20th. The Afghans unite, defeatt he unvader and go back to fighting one anorher. If we pull out there will be civil war if not Taleban repression.

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