GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Two hundreds tribal militiamen are being deployed to each district across southeastern Paktia province to assist security forces in protecting polling sites during Saturday’s presidential runoff election, tribal elders and public representatives said on Wednesday.
The decision to create and deploy militiamen to each polling centres comes after rumours that insecurity would disrupt the electoral province in Paktia.
To discuss the situation, a large number of tribal elders, community council members, religious scholars and public representatives held a gathering in Gardez, the province capital, on Wednesday.
Former Wolesi Jirga member and tribal elder Pacha Khan Zadran told reporters that he hoped the deployment of tribal militiamen would help secure the election. He said if there was no security, people would be unable to cast their votes.
Wolesi Jirga member from Paktia Mohammad Nawab Mangal told Pajhwok Afghan News that a plan to create the militias had been devised and would be practically launched a day later.
He said the creation of tribal militias would leave a positive impact on the security situation and that the armed men would perform their job only on the election day.
Paktia police chief Brig. Gen. Zalmai Orayakhel said the plan to create tribal militias had been shared with him and he welcomed the idea.
“These militiamen would maintain security in areas where polling centres exist and they would act planned by police leaders,” he said.
Meanwhile, Afghan National Army’s 203rd Thunder Military Corps spokesman in Paktia Col. Ahmad Jan told Pajhwok Afghan News that the corps would keep security during the election in close coordination with other security forces.
“Yesterday Chief of Army Staff Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi visited the corps headquarters and held talks with the officials concerned and issues some directives,” he said.
Nearly 600 Afghan Local Police (ALP) members have already been deployed in various parts of Paktia.