Data Gathered Date: 

Monday, September 9, 2013 - 15:30

Paktika is a remote province situated to the southwest of Afghanistan, bordering Pakistan. With the provincial capital, the province has 21 administrative units. Its provincial council has nine members including three women.  
Teacher: Taliban forced me to stay away from casting vote in the past elections but this time I will vote for sure.
Saifullah, a resident of provincial capital Sharana and teacher at Ali Baba High School told Pajhwok Afghan News he and his family were optimistic to participate in the upcoming elections.
Following Taliban’s warning during the past parliamentary elections, most of the people in Sharana did not participate in those ballots.
“During the past elections, the Taliban approached us inside the village mosques and threatened they will kill us if we take part in the polls,” Saifullah said, adding during the last year parliamentary elections, Taliban had distributed warning pamphlets, warning people not to go to polling centers.     
Shopkeeper: I will use cast my vote if security is improved.   
Mohammad Aslam, a resident of Mata Khan District who owns his own shop said if security was improved then he would cast his vote in favour of his choice candidate.
“If security remains the same as was during the past elections when the Taliban remnants were threatening people not to vote then I do not think people will come out for vote. In Mata Khan village, Taliban have greater influence where no one can dare to take voter registration card or use them,” Mohammad Aslam added. He said security was good some nine years back with most of the people had their voter cards; however, they could use the voter cards in the previous parliamentary elections.   
Civilian: I will take part in elections for a better tomorrow.
Abdul Rauf, resident of Sharana recalled only government employees and residents of the capital city took part in the previous parliamentary elections. In larger interests of the country, he would participate in the upcoming elections as he did in the past ballots.
Farmer: I will cast my vote as security is comparatively better now.
Yaqoob Khan, a resident of Wargon district said was comparatively better than other districts of the province, saying most of the people took active part in previous elections. Currently, most of the men and women were visiting the voter registration centers to collect their voter cards.
Tribal elder: I encourage people to caste vote.
Talibuddin Katwazai, a tribal elder and resident of Yahya Khel district said his area was insecure two years back because of the immense influence of Taliban militants. During the previous elections, most of the individuals were unable to participate in the ballots, he said, adding but now law and order had been improved and after his efforts, most of the people got encouraged to participate in the elections.
“Most of the people are willing to cast their votes if security is maintained,” he added.
Analyst: I am not sure whether to vote or not.
Bara Khan Takkra, an analyst and head of Paktika students’ association said he was still undecided whether to vote or not because of the fact that candidates were already selected as president and members of provincial council then it would be a useless exercise.
With regard of taking party by other residents of Paktika residents, he said a matter of concern for the people would be security and if law and order was enhanced then people would take part in large number in the ballots. He said most of the people did not take part in the previous elections because of widespread insecurity and they would not participate in the upcoming elections in the far-flung areas due to deteriorated security.