PESHAWAR, Jan 28: There is a conspiracy in the works to delay the coming elections in the country, said provincial information minister and Awami National Party leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain on Monday.
“A conspiracy is being hatched to bring in a specific caretaker setup for hampering the timely holding of the elections in the country. However, democratic forces will resist delay in elections. The elections must be held on time,” the minister said at a Peshawar Press Club function organised in the memory of Awami National Party activist Noor Mohammad Khan, who was killed in a Peshawar suicide blast along with senior minister Bashir Bilour in December last year.
Special Adviser to Chief Minister Haroon Bilour, ANP provincial information secretary Malik Ghulam Mustafa, PML-N provincial leader Fareed Toofan and friends of Noor Mohammad attended the function.
Mr Hussain said leaders of all political parties should take a unified stand against terrorism to help the nation rid of the menace once and for all. He said ANP had rendered numerous sacrifices for restoration of peace but never bowed to terrorists.
“Terrorism is a problem not only for ANP but the whole nation is suffering from it. The only way to overcome it is to get united and take an effective stand against it,” he said.
The minister said terrorism was a serious issue as besides political leaders, militants had also targeted religious leaders, including JUI leader Maulana Hassan Jan, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and former Jamaat-i-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad.
He said the proposed ANP all parties conference was being called to seek solution to the core issue of terrorism so that political groups could make a joint and effective policy against the menace.
Mr Hussain said ANP had no hidden agenda and just wanted to take all parties on board against terrorism.
“Leaders of all mainstream political parties have assured us of participation in APC. Formal invitation will be given to all of them so that they come and share views on how to counter terrorism,” he said. He said Bacha Khan’s followers had rendered matchless sacrifices for peace.
“Our determination will not be deterred by terrorist acts and they will rather boost it,” he said. Mr Haroon, who is the elder son of slain minister Bashir Bilour, paid tribute to Noor Mohammad and said ANP leaders and workers had rendered great sacrifices for peace and would continue doing so.
He said the actual sufferers of terrorism were Pakhtuns on both sides of the border and that his party would no more tolerate bloodshed of innocent people. Mr Haroon asked the people from all sections of life to join forces to defeat religious extremists and terrorists.