New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Sunday extended its congratulations to Afghanistan for successfully holding parliamentary elections in the country.
“India congratulates the people of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for exercising their democratic rights at Parliamentary elections held today. The enthusiastic participation of people, including the women, despite terrorist violence is the testament of resilience of the people of Afghanistan. It reflects their desire and faith in democratic governance and rejection of the evil forces that foment and spread terror and violence,” a statement from the MEA read.
The MEA further underlined the contribution of the incumbent National Unity Government, the Independent Election Commission and the security forces of Afghanistan for “creating an enabling environment and organising these elections despite numerous challenges.”
“We hope that these elections would contribute to the strengthening of democratic institutions and deepen inclusive democratic system in Afghanistan. India supports the people of Afghanistan in their efforts to build a peaceful, stable, united, inclusive and prosperous nation,” the MEA statement added.
Polls were held across the nation on Saturday to elect members to the ‘Wolesi Jirga’ or lower house of the Afghanistan Parliament.
The elections were postponed in Kandahar by one week in the wake of the recent attack which took place in the governor’s house that claimed the lives of many, including that of Kandahar Police Chief General Abdul Raziq.
Polling in the Ghazni province was also postponed due to security issues and disagreements on reducing constituencies.
However, incidents of violence have marred the elections. Afghanistan’s Interior Minister Wais Barmak on Saturday confirmed that at least 17 civilians were killed and 83 civilians were injured in these attacks. He also stated that 10 policemen and one Afghan National Army soldier were killed in the attack, while 17 security officers sustained injuries in the attacks.
The Taliban had earlier threatened to disrupt the elections in the nation and had also claimed responsibility behind the deaths of numerous candidates in the past.