PESHAWAR, May 9: Awami National Party central leader and candidate for NA-1, Peshawar Ghulam Ahmad Bilour on Thursday warned that if militants-backed candidates won the May 11 elections, militancy would be everywhere in the country as it was in Swat not long ago.

Mr Bilour told a news conference at Peshawar Press Club that the Election Commission of Pakistan had miserably failed to provide security to ANP candidates and thus, hampering their election campaign.

He said political parties should get together for making a joint strategy to save democracy and that the country should have an independent foreign policy to protect its interests and restoration of peace.

The ANP leader said it was very deplorable that his party candidates were left at the mercy of Taliban but even then, his party didn’t boycott elections just to strengthen democracy.

“Anti-state elements are defying the Constitution and working against the democratic process to bring their own leadership in assemblies, but he is hopeful that the people will reject all such attempts with the power of ballot on May 11,” he said.Mr Bilour said ANP wanted to strengthen democracy as progress and development was not possible without democratic process in the country. He said democracy had not taken root in the real sense due to repeated military takeovers in the country.

The ANP leader said his party had always been against dictatorial regimes and rejected offers of dictators.

“We are not against the change in the country, but the thought of building a new Pakistan is wrong because it is a conspiracy to break the country,” he said.

Mr Bilour said he spent more than six years in prison for democracy but new political faces were trying to befool people through the slogan of building new Pakistan.

He said politics was a very difficult game to play compared with cricket.

The ANP leader said it was very strange that who had never visited Peshawar to share grief of the violence-stricken people were begging votes from them.

He said those opposed to the US drone attacks in the country’s tribal areas were actually working on foreign agenda.

Referring to a statement of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman that ANP is a dead snake, which needs no lashes, Mr Bilour said ANP had always condemned terrorist attacks against every party but some of them avoided to condemn attacks against his party.

“Someone else had sowed the seeds of terrorism and we are reaping its fruit now,” he said referring to the US-led Afghan war against former Soviet Union.

Flanked by ANP candidates from PK-2 constituency Ghulam Mustafa, from PK-3 Haroon Ahmad Bilour and from PK-2 Ghazanfar Bilour, the ANP leader said a conspiracy was hatched to push ANP to the wall and therefore, ANP couldn’t run election campaign across the country.

“We will full participate in the elections. We are not worried whether we win or loss elections, which is part of electoral process. What is important is that elections should be held on schedule,” he said.

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