The Times has more:
In Helmand, where British troops have been deployed since 2006, only about 50,000 people cast ballots out of an estimated 620,000 registered voters, according to the local election chief.
Panther’s Claw aimed to push back the Taleban and allow people to vote in the area around Nad e-Ali, Helmand’s most populous district with 107,500 residents. Brigadier Tim Radford, commander of British forces in Helmand, said last month the operation had allowed 80,000 more Afghans to vote.
But fewer than 150 people actually cast their ballots in Nad e-Ali out of about 48,000 registered voters, according to Engineer Abdul Hadee, the local head of the Independent Election Commission.
“The number we hoped to get to vote — it has not happened,” he told The Times.
Haji Ahmad Shah Khan, a tribal elder in Nad e-Ali, was one of many Afghans scared off by the Taleban’s warnings to attack polling stations and cut off voters’ index fingers, which were marked with indelible ink.
“We couldn’t come out of our house. The Taleban are patrolling the area,” he said. “Nobody could vote.”
Mullah Ghulam Mohamamd Akhund, a Taleban commander in the district, said: “Everything was fine. There were no polling centres and no voting. We didn’t face any problems.”
Engineer Hadee said there was a similarly low turnout in most of Helmand’s 13 districts despite the recent efforts of British troops, 13 of whom have been killed this month. No votes at all were cast in Nawa and Garmsir districts, which had 85,000 registered voters between them. In Nawzad, which has a population of 46,300, the vote was cancelled because there were no presidential ballot papers.
It is a pity, Dr R, that our parliament is not in session. Surely, even with such wan and lacklustre scrutiny as they habitually provide, someone would be asking The Great Leader the odd question or two, bearing in mind his grandiose statement at the conclusion of Panther's Claw. Completely contrary to his claims, which were laughable at the time, it is now beyond doubt and all possible spin that we have not driven the Taliban out, we did not make the area safe for 100,000 people, and we have not provided the security necessary for the locals to vote. What, then, was the point of Panther's Claw and how does he justify the attendant loss of life?