PESHAWAR: Former chief minister and Awami National Party Khyber Pakhtunkhwa president Ameer Haider Khan Hoti has said that there are ‘unhappy’ lobbies active outside the province which are trying to foil the devolution of powers to the provinces assured under the 18th amendment.
Speaking at a gathering held at the Bacha Khan Markaz, he said that ANP which fought for the provincial autonomy would continue its efforts till it translated the 18th amendment into action.
Without naming those lobbies, Mr Hoti said that it was a long and slow struggle to devolve powers to provinces in the true sense. It is still a challenge, he said.
“It is going to be a challenge for any political party active for Pakhtun rights in the province,” he said while explaining how the party’s slogan “Khpala Khwara, Khpal Ikhtiyar” (right to own one’s own land) still needed to be translated into action. He said that the party would continue to raise it as election slogan for the next general election.
Hoti says party to make a comeback in next general election
The ANP leader’s words met with applause as the crowded party secretariat also welcomed the announcement by Qaumi Watan Party’s district vice-president Manzoor Ali Khalil and a number of his young supporters to join ANP.
“I am joining ANP because whether it was terrorism, Kalabagh dam or China-Pakistan Economic Corridor issue this party always stood for our rights,” said Mr Khalil, a young politician who has influence in PK-4, PK-5 and PK-6 constituencies of Peshawar.
Mr Hoti welcomed Mr Khalil and his supporters into the party and claimed that ANP would emerge as a winner in the next general election. He said that his party had continued political struggle despite terrorist threats.
Comparing results of 2013 general elections with the recent local government elections, he said that ANP was on second position in the recent LG polls despite its limitations like being a part of an alliance and facing terrorism threats. He said that ANP had shown better results in Swabi, Buner, Swat and Malakand in LG polls.
Mr Hoti said that though ANP was pushed to the wall by terrorist organisations in the general elections, he was still engaged in strengthening it. He hoped that the party would make a comeback in the next general elections though threats to the party workers were still there.
Answering a question, the ANP leader said that if PML-N had accused the KP government of investing power generation funds in the stock exchange, the federal government should hold an inquiry into such allegations.
Earlier, Mr Hoti inaugurated Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council’s building in Peshawar and said on the occasion that all political parties should respect each other’s mandate. He said that ANP had accepted Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf mandate in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa so it should do the same in other provinces.
The ceremony was attended by the council’s vice-chairman Ahmad Farooq Khattak, its other members and senior lawyers. Mr Khattak said that the council was working for the welfare of lawyers and had started their medical insurance. He said that the council had computerised the lawyers’ record from 2009 onwards, which would keep fake degree holding lawyers away from practice.
Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2015