Data Gathered Date: 

Sunday, March 31, 2013 - 12:00

Security problems and lack of roads top the list of demands from many  people in Khost. They want the next president to solve those key issues.
Located in the southern zone, the province has 12 official districts with another three unofficial districts. The province has nine representatives in the provincial council. Three of them are women and the rest are men.
The below report is based on comments of six residents - including two women, and one Kuchi - from three districts of the  province.
An urban woman: We are fed up with Americans
Thirty-five-year-old Bibi Aasia is a resident of the Matoon area of Khost City and a housewife. She says her life has improved as compared to  five years ago, but it was because her son is now working with a non-governmental organisation (NGO).
She fears someone may  kill or kidnap her son or throw bombs into her house. Bibi Aasia is not going to take part in the elections and it is because she is not registered.
In her views, insecurity is the first problem followed by the presence of US troops as the second one. "Planes are flying low, disturbing our sleep and frightening our children. We think there is war," she said.
To a question as what would be her demand if came across the president, she said: "I will ask to rid us of those infidels. Don't enter our houses and don't kill us. They should go back to their countries and end these wars."
She says the present government provided clean drinking water to her village.

Nomadi Kuchi: I will not take part in elections
Din Gul, 46, says no change has happened in his life in the past five years. This is why he is not going to take part in elections.
Asked about his favourite candidates, Din Gul said: "I will not accept any of them even in exchange for two mulberries."
He knows only two of the presidential candidates. He is not taking part in the elections and says: "Don't talk about them. All are thieves who are filling their own pockets."
He says his main problem is lack of proper shelter. He wants the next president to construct schools, health clinics and roads.
He is not sure the elections will be held. If the fighting continues, people will only care for their lives instead of the elections, he notes.
If he met the president, Din Gul says he will ask him to quit the seat if he is powerless.

Farmer: The country is occupied
A farmer Muhammad Ikram, 35, from Sabri district says no positive change has come in his life in the past five years. He knows little of the presidential candidates and does not like any of them. He says none of them  is fully Islamic nor sovereign and this is why he does not like them.
He says all the presidential candidates are poor qualiry. He is not eager to take part in the presidential or provincial council elections.
"I know that my vote can't bring any change in the situation in the country,” he said. “The country is invaded and there is no importance of my vote."
If meets the president, he says he will tell him, "Beggary is far better than this life of slavery. We are ashamed of you and stop all this now."
He said the top problem of his area is security and the second one is unemployment. He says nothing has been done for the welfare of his village people during the current government.

A businessman: The candidates are outsiders
A businessman who lives in Ismailkhel district, 28-year-old Baseer Ahmad, says he does not trust the presidential candidates and this is why he is not going to take part in the elections.
About the candidates, he says: "All are the men of Europe, West and neighbouring countries."
Ahmad, who imports electric equipment from Dubai and China, says the first problem of his area is lack of security. He asks the next president to solve the ongoing trouble by holding talks with opponents of the government.
He says he knows nearly one-third of the presidential candidates. But none of them has the qualities Baseer Ahmad wants to find in them.
He says his favourite candidate must have Islamic qualities, Afghan nationalism and love for the land. But he doesn't think any of the candidates have those qualities.
He said only electricity was provided through generators by the Rural Development Ministry through its National Reconciliation Programme to the area. But nothing more than that has been done so far, he said.

A jobless youth: Unemployment is the biggest problem
23-year-old Muhammad Ayub, who is resident of Tanai district, says he will take part in elections although no change has happened in his life in the past five years. He says he will take part in the elections and vote for his favourite candidate.
The young man, who has completed his intermediate education, says he knows some 10 among the candidates. If he came across the next president, he will ask him to never forget the voters and to fulfill the promises made to them.
He says unemployment is the biggest problem in his area. Lack of clean drinking water, electricity and roads were other problems.
He is confident of the holding of elections but says there will be no celebrations like the previous ones.

Journalist: Progress is visible
Nishanuddin, a 33-year-old reporter with the Associated Press in Khost, says betterment is visible in the lives of people in the past five years and progress has been achieved.
Roads have been constructed in the area, dams constructed and buildings for schools and district offices have also been rebuilt.
He says he did not have a house and car in the past, but he has these now.
He is eager to take part in the elections, but says he will vote for such a candidate who has not come from the West and whose hands were not coloured with the blood of innocent people.
"If failed to find such a candidate, then I shall vote for a woman as her hands will not be coloured with the blood of innocents for being a mother."
He knows half of the candidates and also knows about their past. The biggest problem, in his views, is lack of electricity and clean drinking water. The other problem is lack of security.
About his demand from the next president, the journalist says: "My message to the next president is  to strengthen the country's own troops and get rid of the foreign backing."
Student: No security of life
Suhela, student of the 11th class in Khost City, says the biggest problem is security.
"Whenever I go out of house, I'm not sure shall be able to return alive,” she said. “I fear a blast every moment at every step and I shall be killed."
The girl says she will take part in elections because it is her right to vote. She said only her father is working and that is having a small shop with low income.
Suhela is living with her family in a rented house. She sees no major change in her life in the past five years.
She does not know either of the two women candidates among the 41 presidential hopefuls. Among the men, she knows Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah and Ramzan Bashardost as she has seen them on the television screen.
Her demand from the president is: "End the war at any cost."