Asfandyar for meaningful Pak-Afghan talks

Published November 15, 2014
ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan addresses a party convention at Nishtar Hall, Peshawar, on Friday. —Photo by Shahbaz Butt
ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan addresses a party convention at Nishtar Hall, Peshawar, on Friday. —Photo by Shahbaz Butt

PESHAWAR: Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali Khan on Friday said peace couldn’t return to the region unless Pakistan and Afghanistan jointly worked for it with full determination.

“The people have attached great expectations to the visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Pakistan hoping that some concrete steps will be taken for complete elemination of terrorism from the rehion,” he said during a workers’ convention at Nishtar Hall here.

The ANP chief said peace was the country’s urgent need and that both Pakistan and Afghanistan should hold meaningful talks to work for it by addressing issues.

He said his party would continue supporting the Constitution and democracy and would work for restoration of peace in the country in future, too.

Asfandyar said no one had the right to force lawmakers to resign from their respective seats at gunpoint or tarnish the Constitution.

He said if any change was made to the 18th constitutional amendment at gunpoint, then the country would have several constitutions in future.


Says using derogatory language against others not a civilised protest


“Staging sit-in is permissible in politics and that it has impact. However, the kind of anti-government sit-in introduced by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in Islamabad has destroyed the image of such protests,” he said.

The ANP chief said standing up on a container and using derogatory language against others was not a civilised protest.

He claimed that the people had lost confidence in the provincial government and that they were looking to the ANP for steering the province out of the crisis.

Asfandyar said his party would win the next elections overwhelmingly if workers managed to reach the people in every nook and corner of the province.

“We have the capacity to confine the ‘bat’, election symbol of PTI, to Mianwali, home district of Imran Khan. The people have begun joining us in large numbers,” he said.

The ANP chief said his party’s workers were being target-killed in parts of the province but his party would not remain silent and agitate if anyone was killed in future.

Former provincial chief minister and ANP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa president Amir Haider Khan Hoti, who was also in attendance, said his government had established nine universities and several hospitals in the province but the current PTI government didn’t establish a single primary school.

He said ironically, the provincial ministers didn’t condole the deaths in terrorist activities and that when he was the chief minister, ministers Mian Iftikhar Hussain and Bashir Bilour regularly visited the houses of blast victims and sympathised with the people.

Hoti said the incidence of extortion and kidnapping for ransom in the province was on the rise but the PTI government had been busy with ‘sit-ins and dance’ in Islamabad for over two months.

He said it was astonishing for the people that the decisions pertaining to the future of the province were taken in Bani Gala (Islamabad locality, where Imran Khan lives) by irrelevant people.

Another speaker, ANP MNA Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, expressed concern over the excessive loadshedding in the province and said the people of the province had been subjected to the mental agony by the prolonged power cuts.

He said the PTI leadership was in the habit of misguiding the people by false speeches.

Bilour said when the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan staged sit-in, they were declared traitors but ironically, when the people from Punjab and Sindh did so, they’re facilitated.

Published in Dawn, November 15th , 2014

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