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Kelso to Kabul: biggest event in 13 years of fighting

Built by former Afghan ruler, King Amanullah Khan in the early 1920s as he tried to modernise Afghanistan, the neoclassical Darul Aman Palace has been destroyed by forty years of civil strife.

Built by former Afghan ruler, King Amanullah Khan in the early 1920s as he tried to modernise Afghanistan, the neoclassical Darul Aman Palace has been destroyed by forty years of civil strife.

This week, our correspondent, Union Jack, tells of the most important event in the 13-year intervention by coalition forces in Afghanistan.

US Army Lt-General Milley, previous commander of ISAF Joint Command, made it very clear the presidential election is the biggest strategic event since coalition forces intervened to rebuild the country after Taliban rule.

The insurgents know this and are doing everything to disrupt the election process.

Hence, everything I do with the public affairs team, or indeed everything that any of the teams here do, is based upon creating a secure environment for elections to take place.

I wouldn’t know how close the nearest policemen, let alone troops, are to my local polling station in Eccles, but fortunately any ‘rebels’ in Birgham are unlikely to interfere with the democratic process.

Here in Afghanistan, election logistics is a huge operation, made more difficult by much of the country being affected by insurgent activity, and also because this is a very mountainous country and snow covers much of the landscape.

Historically, previous rulers have either died in office or been physically deposed. Never before has an Afghan national leader handed over power as the result of a democratic election.

This Saturday, the 21million registered voters will have the opportunity to be part of history.

 

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