The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen on Wednesday condemned the attacks on election candidates in Afghanistan and urged all stakeholders to double their efforts to achieve reconciliation and peace.
In a statement issued by the OIC, Al-Othaimeen “deplored in the strongest terms the recent attacks and intimidation attempts targeting parliamentary election candidates in Afghanistan.”
This comes after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside an election candidate’s campaign office in Lashkargah, Helmand, on Tuesday, killing at least eight people – including the candidate himself.
“The Secretary General conveyed his condolences to the victims’ families and expressed support to the government of Afghanistan for its firm commitment to conduct free, fair and transparent elections as scheduled for 20 October 2018," the statement said.
According to the statement, the secretary general drew attention to the letter and spirit of the Makkah Declaration of the International Ulema Conference for Peace and Security in Afghanistan and urged member states, the parties to the conflict and “all friends of Afghanistan to redouble their efforts to achieve reconciliation and a lasting peaceful settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan.”
This comes after Saleh Mohammad Achakzai, an election candidate, died in Tuesday’s incident.
Achakzai was at least the 8th candidate to have been killed in attacks since the candidate registration process in July.
On September 25, Nasir Mubarez, a candidate for the Kochis, from Kandahar, was killed by unknown armed men in a shooting in Kandahar City’s PD2.
On September 2, Anwar Niazi, a Parwan candidate, was killed and two others wounded when a magnetic IED was detonated against the vehicle they were traveling in. The incident took place in Kabul city center, in Shirpoor, in PD10, at about 7pm local time.
In August, Jalal Salehi, a candidate from Kabul, was killed during a security forces operation in Kabul’s Shakar Dara district.
Another candidate, former member of Ghazni provincial council, Sayed Obaidullah Sadat, was killed in Ghazni on July 14 by unknown armed men.
On July 1, the Afghan Sikh and Hindu community leader, Ottar Singh Khalsa, who was running for parliamentary elections, was killed in a suicide attack in Jalalabad city in Nangarhar province.
And on July 30, another Nangarhar candidate, Hayatullah Khan Rahmani, was killed when a suicide bomber targeted him in Rodat district in the province.
More than 2,500 candidates are running for 249 parliamentary seats in the October 20 elections.