Estranged workers form own ANP faction

PESHAWAR, March 19: Parting ways with Awami National Party, a group of senior nationalists has formally announced formation of Awami National Party (Ideological) to organise Khudai Khidmatgar (followers of Bacha Khan) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The disgruntled nationalists, led by Saifullah Khankhel, told a press conference here on Monday that ANP leadership had failed to follow in the footprints of Bacha Khan and Abdul Wali Khan. “That's why we parted ways with the party,” they said.Flanked by Malik Hayat Khan from Bannu, Zardad Khan from Lakki Marwat, Mr Saifullah said that devoted followers of Bacha Khan had either joined other parties or were silent in a state of compulsion as they were unable to serve the workers affiliated with the party because ANP leadership was least bothered to give time to senior workers and resolve their problems.

“The movement launched by Bacha Khan for the cause of downtrodden has totally been ignored by the present ANP leadership owing to its engagement in government affairs. The party came into power after a long struggle by the workers but the leadership ignored them. So we can't remain part of the party in such a situation,” said Mr Saifullah.

He said that despite enduring imprisonment, hardships and challenges during the martial laws and dictatorships, the workers of the movement rendered sacrifices and remained determined constantly to raise voice for rights of the poor Pakhtuns but after coming into power the party forgot the motto of Khudai Khidmatgar movement.

The ideological group, he said, had been formed to reactivate all the annoyed and disgruntled workers and seek their services for the welfare of the ignored Pakhtuns. He asked all the veteran workers and leaders to join the new group for the sake of carrying forward the real mission of Bacha Khan.

For the time being, he said, office-bearers of the new party had been nominated to visit all the districts in northern part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that the leaders and activists who had joined other parties would also be invited during the visit to join the ideological group. Dawn

ANP provincial president Afrasiab Khattak, when contacted, told that workers had great expectation from the party and the leadership was striving to compensate all the old guards of the party and Khudai Khidmatgar movement but it was not possible to reach each and every worker.

However, he said, efforts would be made to approach the disgruntled members of the party in nook and corner of the country.

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