Officials Laud Afghans for Election Roles
From an International Security Assistance Force News Release
KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 20, 2010 The commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and NATO’s senior civilian representative here praised the people who participated in, organized and secured Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections.
In statements released Sept. 18, the day of the election, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Mark Sedwill commented on the first parliamentary elections planned, organized and managed by Afghans since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
"The people of Afghanistan sent a powerful message today," Petraeus said. "The voice of Afghanistan's future does not belong to the violent extremists and terror networks. It belongs to the people.
"I commend, in particular, the Afghan national security forces, who performed so bravely today in safeguarding a weapon with greater potential than any other: the people's right to vote and to have a say in the future of their country,” the general added. “It was an honor on this day, especially, for NATO ISAF forces to support our Afghan partners. We also salute the Afghan Electoral Commission personnel, the team of experts from the U.N., and the Afghan and international observers for their contributions in the preparation for and the conduct of today's elections."
Sedwill said the elections have once again shown that the people of Afghanistan want the chance to elect their leaders. "For NATO, ISAF and our Afghan partners,” he said, “it's clear that the future of Afghanistan remains one where violence cannot overthrow the democratic will of the people. NATO stands firm in its support to Afghanistan and in its shared fight against terrorism and extremism that seeks to destroy the successes of the past nine years."