Politics in Panjshir: Life on the Afghan campaign trail

By JOSH SMITH | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 3, 2014

KABUL — As Afghanistan's presidential election entered its final week, fears of violence and concerns over corruption didn't stop many Afghans from reveling in what would be the country's first peaceful, democratic transfer of power.

Candidates crisscrossed the country, drumming up last minute support at rallies that often attracted thousands of people.

Especially in more rural areas, fears of retribution by the Taliban and blatant fraud by politicians and election officials has caused concern among Afghans and international observers alike.

But at large rallies, many Afghans express excitement and hope that their country is at least moving toward a safer and more democratic future.

Twitter: @joshjonsmith


Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah scramble to grab campaign posters and signs before a rally in Panjshir province. The candidate found a frenzied welcome in the fabled Panjshir Valley, where he has a strong base of support.