KABUL (Pajhwok): Everyone reserves the right to stage a peaceful demonstration, but violence on such occasions will only benefit foreign intelligence networks, residents believe.
Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News, a number of people urged both presidential candidates not to provoke violence while pressing for their demands.
Last Wednesday, Dr. Abdullah accused President Hamid Karzai of supporting his rival in the runoff election, saying he no longer trusted the electoral bodies.
At a news conference in Kabul, the former foreign minister demanded an immediate stop to the vote-tallying process until his demands were met.
But government dismissed the allegation as unsubstantiated, with the Independent Election Commission (IEC) saying the vote count would continue in a transparent manner.
Prof. Aziz Ahmad Fanoos, a lecturer at the journalism faculty of Kabul University, said citizens of developed countries also staged rallies but peacefully.
In Afghanistan, however, such movements could fuel regional, ethnic and linguistic rifts because most of the people were illiterate, he argued.
He said: “Some elements take advantage of these tensions.” When anyone feels his/her interest is at stake, they start saying the country had plunged into crisis.
Unfortunately, the teacher added, foreign hands were crucial in encouraging anomalies in the runoff polls and fanning tensions between the candidates.
Asia, a student of law and political science faculty, said relevant commissions should be given time to review fraud complaints. “We support peaceful actions, but some people are trying to misuse their civic rights.”
She urged the United Nations to track the electoral process to ensure that justice was done to both runners.
Mahmoud Shakoori, selling construction materials in Qala-i-Fathullah area, said: “We welcome peaceful protests, something tolerated by the sitting government. People use legal ways of making demands instead of taking up arms.”
Baryalai from Khost province said residents of many parts of the country had exercised their voting right at the expense of their lives and their sacrifice must be respected.
A Paktia University lecturer, Arifullah, warned stoking ethnic and linguistic fires could unleash serious consequences. He asked the masses to stay calm until the final results were made public.
Hailing from the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar province, Akmal Zahir said that they had braved threats while voting in the June 14 election and would defend their ballots.
“I have participated in this national process for the sake of a stable Afghanistan. But it seems some individuals are trying to misuse this process.”
Aftab Husain from the Qarghayee district of Laghman urged the presidential runners to respect people’s vote. “We will not allow anyone to take undue benefit of our votes.”
A civil society institution chief in Faryab, Aminullah Intizar, said both presidential hopefuls should wait until the release of final outcome.
“In the prevailing circumstances, staging of rallies is not in favour of anyone, because saboteurs may make peaceful protests violent.”
Sufi Azizur Rahman from Kunduz province said Afghans needed peace after suffering so much during the past three decades of war and violence. “We want peace in the country. I won’t care who is elected as next president.”