Despite being the largest of Afghanistan’s many ethnicities, the Pashtuns have found themselves largely on the outside looking in with regard to the political process, as many Pashtun-dominated polling places never opened and the Electoral Complaints Commission has been seen banning a disproportionate number of Pashtun candidates.
Between the rampant election-day fraud and the shady post-election efforts no one seriously believes that the results of this election will represent anything close to the will of the voters. But in Ghazni Province the Pashtuns found themselves shut out of the political process entirely.
Which is perhaps not entirely surprising, as the southeast province was torn by pre-election intimidation and a lot of “never opened” polling sites. But the large Pashtun population is now warning that it will have no choice but to seek closer ties to the Taliban since they have no voice in the US backed government.
This has led to some concern among some officials that the already dubious election is now becoming so overtly crooked that it is actually driving groups into the arms of the Taliban and could have serious deleterious effects on the NATO occupation in the years ahead.