PESHAWAR, Jan 21: Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali on Monday said terrorism was not the problem of his party only and rather, it was a national issue for whose resolution through a consensus among political forces, efforts were underway.
During a function held at Nishtar Hall to mark the 25th death anniversary of Bacha Khan and seventh of Abdul Wali Khan, Mr Wali said of the country’s political groups, only ANP had a clear stand against terrorism.
He asked if terrorists had killed ANP workers in Quetta and attacked the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and Mehran Airbase in Karachi to kill ANP workers.
“We have to find a permanent solution to the continued violence because it had stalled our national progress and development. Tell me will anyone be willing to invest money in the country with terrorist activities everywhere,” he said.
The ANP president said all political parties should support his party in its mission against terrorism for peace.
“In the past, we had to mention the sacrifices of our leaders only on a few occasions but during the past four years, we have lost hundreds of workers and leaders. Despite all that, we are firm in our fight against terrorism,” he said.
Mr Wali said: “It is our prime duty to fulfil the mission for which our friends laid lives. Our people have fought so bravely against terrorists that there was no such example in the history.”
He said efforts were underway to thwart the ANP-sponsored all party conference on terrorism but his party would continue persuading political leaders to develop a consensus opinion on how to counter terrorism.
The ANP president said the provincial government led by his party had successfully translated the dream of Bacha Khan and Abdul Wali Khan of Pakhtun empowerment into reality.
He said the province had been given its name for which Pakhtuns had struggled for decades.
Mr Wali said though opposed by rivals, ANP had been carrying out its responsibility for restoration of peace in the society so that the people could live their lives without fear.
“Bacha Khan’s philosophy of non-violence has gained global recognition after the 9/11 terrorist activities in the US. The international community has developed a consensus that weapons are no answer to conflicts, which can be tackled by dialogue only,” he said.
Provincial Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, who was also in attendance, said personality, role and services of Bacha Khan and the struggle of Abdul Wali Khan were not limited to Pakhtunkhwa as the entire region acknowledged that the key to get rid of the current difficulties and challenges lied in following Bacha Khan’s philosophy.
He said a children’s hospital named after slain provincial minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour would be established in Peshawar at the cost of Rs2.2 billion.
The chief minister said the five years performance of his government had been far more commendable than all previous governments over the last 60 years.
He paid tribute to the Pakhtun leaders for their services for the region and said presence of Iranian Consul General Hasan Darvesh Wnd at the function was a testimony of the fact that services, personality and sacrifices of Bacha Khan and struggle of Abdul Wali Khan were not limited to this area.
ANP provincial president Afrasiab Khattak and provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain also spoke on the occasion.