Data Gathered Date:
People in the central Ghazni province are fed up with unemployment and lawlessness. They're ready to vote, saying the government must take steps to ensure peace and provide jobs to them.
Located some 150 kilometres south of Kabul, Ghazni province consists of 18 districts. The province has 19 seats in the provincial council. Five of them are reserved for women.
A total of 93 candidates are in the field for the 19 seats. Nine of them are women.
Nawa is one of the 18 districts which was captured by Taliban a year ago and is still under their control.
The following report was prepared last week on the basis of interviews with two women and six men from four districts and the provincial capital of Ghazni City.
Student of Political Science: Many may not vote
Pakhtana, 21, resident of Muqur district, presently studying at the Political Science department of Nangarhar University, says she will vote for a candidate working for peace and security in the country.
The first problem of her area is insecurity. Many people in the province may not vote for this reason, she believes.
According to Pakhtana, the second problem was lack of health facilities. People take their patients to the provincial capital as no health facilities are available in the districts.
Referring to the recent situation, she fears the election may not be secure. Asked about her demand from the future president, she says, “Restoration of peace is on top.”
She said two schools, one for girls and another for boys, had been constructed in her village during the current government. More smaller works like this have also been completed there.
Kuchi: My life has improved, but security deteriorated
Muhammad Gul Kuchi is the representative of Kuchis in Ghazni. He lives in a village west of the city. He said he had no job eight years ago but he worked at several places during this period. He said his life had also improved in these years.
Kuchi, who is eager to use his vote, said insecurity was the biggest problem of his area. There are also some problems faced particularly by Kuchis. He complained about lack of meadows for their animals and lack of health care.
Peace and reconciliation is his first demand from the next president.
Teacher: Insecurity is the biggest problem
Waliullah, 34, resident of Qarabagh district, is teacher at a middle school for the past five years.
He was doing a labour job in Pakistan six years ago, but now is teaching at a school.
He knows a few of the candidates and wants to vote for a person who can work for peace and security.
According to him, the first problem of his area is insecurity followed by unemployment among youth. He wants to participate in the presidential and provincial council elections but only when he does not have to risk his life to do it.
His foremost demand from the president is restoration of peace and job opportunities for the people. He said a road had been paved in his area and some water provision systems constructed in the past five years.
Dilip Singh: Elect candidate who can serve masses
Dilip Singh, 44, resident of Ghazni City and representative of Sikh community in Ghazni, says his life has improved as compared to the past. He was a candidate for the provincial council in previous elections but was not elected.
He said the problems are there because of the security problems. He considers security as the first problem. One can’t live with ease when there is no peace, says Dilip Sing.
He is taking part in the provincial council and presidential elections and wants to vote for those who are loyal to the country and the people.
According to Dilip Singh, the far-off districts are dangerous and people may face problems in casting their votes. He is happy with the present government as a temple was constructed for his community members and a school was also built during the same period.
Mother: Our life has improved
Fatima, 35, resident of Waghaz district, says she learned how to prepare pickles and other food items in a course offered by the women's affairs department about a year ago. Mother of six, Fatima says she is happy with her earnings by preparing pickle and selling them.
She does not have much information about the candidates, but says she will participate in the elections and use her vote after consultation with her husband and children.
At the same time, she is scared of the increasing security problems. Fatima says: “I shall vote only when there is peace because I afraid of fighting.”
She says the foremost problem is lack of security. Also, she said, roads and schools should also be constructed.
Shopkeeper: Wants a candidate whose hands are clean
Fareed, 26, has a shop in Ghazni City, and he asks for peace in the country. People can arrange the rest of things for themselves when there is peace, he says.
Fareed knows only nine of the 37 presidential hopefuls. He says, “I shall vote for a candidate who is not involved in killing of innocent people.”
According to Fareed, lack of security is the first problem of every individual. He said the second problem was poverty among people which must be addressed.
Student: Failed to get registration card
Nineteen-year-old Jameel is a resident of Andar district. He is student of 11th class at a school.
He could not get a voter's registration card for the elections because of insecurity.
He knows only five of the 37 presidential contenders. He asks the people to vote for a candidate who can serve society.
According to Jameel, the first problem of his area is lack of security followed by lack of schools in the far-off areas.
He wants the next president to pay attention to education and literacy, ensure peace and hold talks with the opponents.
He said the water system had been constructed in his village during the current government. Besides, karez (canals) have also been constructed in the area.
Beggar: Wants government help
Forty-year-old Shah Muhammad is resident of Ghazni City and stayed both in Iran and Pakistan as a refugee. Now he is a beggar, and he says “I should be supported.”
He says the first problem was poverty and the government should focus on condition of poor.
He said no attention had been paid to his life in the past five years. Only some special people benefited from the assistance given to the country or the province, he said.