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Tuesday, 18 June 2013 18:51

Date: 20/05/2013
No. Participants: 220 (170 males, 50 Females)
Location: 2ndConference hall of municipality department
Key Attendees: Abdul Wali Sahi deputy provincial governor, Mohammad Shafiq Popal chief chairman of AYNSO, Mohammad Shefa Mushfeq chief of Department of Information and Culture, Abdul Rahman Rahmani chief of Department of Rural and Rehabilitation, Mafad Zeer representative of Department of Finance, Ashiqullah head of Paktia RTA TV and Amir Hamza Ahmadzai chief of IEC for Paktia Province.
AYNO Provincial chapter in Paktia province held its town hall meeting in municipality conference hall on 20th.05.2013 where 220 People including 50 women, government officials, and influential elders, and teachers, members of civil society, youths and students participated to discuss major concerns of people which were 1- Lack of youths participation in political affairs of the country, 2- Roles of youths in the upcoming presidential elections.
The meeting began at 10:00 AM with recitation of holy Quran by one of the participants and then Mr. Shafiq Popal Chief Chairman of AYNSO welcomed all the participants and gave 15 minutes briefing of the program as well as its purpose. Mr. Popal also addressed goals and objectives of AYNSO that carries out in different provinces in order to help people to solve their challenges. He requested all the audience to list and write down their questions about the mentioned issues that officials were supposed to provide answers.
Then Mohammad Shefa Muhfeq chief of Department of Information and Culture while welcoming the participants said that the department of information and culture will be in full service of the people, and would always listen to the publics’ challenges and problems.
Later, Abdul Wali Sahi deputy provincial governor welcomed the participants and said that his main focus will be on youths and their responsibility towards the country and the upcoming presidential elections.
Then the participants one by one asked their questions in both sections, 1- Lack of youth participation in political affairs and roles of youths in upcoming presidential elections.

1-    MR. Abdullah Mukhles said, “Why aren’t the media and TV channels in Paktia province focusing on political programs so that youth should involve?”
2-    Mohammad Khan said, “There aren’t any opportunities for youths, majority is unemployed, even youths who are university graduates, do not have jobs, so how can they trust government and involve in politics?”
Chief of Paktia RTA TV responded, “I totally refuse this claim, programs of Paktia RTA TV are not to develop youths, however we have many round table programs, anyone who wants to express their thought, our studios are open for them and they can take part in open discussions.” In addition to that Mr. Ihsanullah on behalf of media promised youths that Radio Oshtoon is at their service and anytime youths want to come for interviews and expressing their views, they are all welcomed.
And regarding the second question Mr. Ashiqullah said that they would follow with department of Labor and Social Affairs on why youths are not provided employment opportunities.
Then the participants asked questions regarding the second issue of the agenda one by one.
1-    Mr. Watanwal asked, “Those who would like to nominate in presidential elections, should have Afghan citizenship not from another country, if a candidate is found to have dual citizenship, what would be reaction of IEC?”
2-    What are the measures to prevent fraud in elections, that took place previous time?”
3-    Those employees of IEC who committed fraud previous time, should not be employed this time.
The official of IEC in Paktia province said, “Brother, it is clearly stated in the IEC rules and laws that those candidates who have dual citizenship, should forfeit their second one, otherwise they will not be allowed, so we are in close observation of this issue.” He also added that youths have the major role in elections and participate extensively in order to have a transparent election and vote for the right person. He said that they promise to hire skilled and experienced youths for the next elections.
In response to the last question Mr. Ahmadzai said, “those who have been caught in fraud in previous elections, are black listed and replaced with new people”. However, if the newly hired individuals commit fraud, then that is not the fault of ICE but people. We therefore urge our people who work in IEC to be honest and work in integrity; otherwise he will have to response to Allah and his countrymen in judgment day.”
The meeting finally ended at 4:00 PM after participants were served lunch and transportation fares were paid to audience.
It is worth mentioning that the officials in the meeting made following promises to the people.
1-    The chief of Paktia RTA and chief of information and culture department promised that they would design programs and shows that would involve youths who would express their thoughts.
2-    The IEC promised for transparent elections and said that those who were known to be fraud will not be hire this time.
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