CHARSADDA: Awami National Party (ANP) president Asfandyar Wali Khan has asked the government to take political parties into confidence on revival of military courts and called for a multiparty conference on the issue.
He was speaking at a public meeting held at the Charsadda Sugar Mills ground on Sunday to mark the death anniversaries of Khudai Khidmatgar Tehreek leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, popularly known as Bacha Khan, and his son and ANP founder Khan Abdul Wali Khan.
Asfandyar Wali talked about several national and regional issues affecting the Pakhtun people.
Prime minister reminded of promise to ensure due share of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects
He urged the federal government to take political parties into confidence on other burning issues also, including merger of the tribal areas into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He called for constitutional amendments to provide special grant to the tribal areas.
The ANP chief reminded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of his promise to ensure due share of KP in projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“If Mr Sharif does not fulfil the promise, he must know that this time he won’t be able to run away to Jeddah,” he warned.
He said that they wanted documentary proof of CPEC-related projects planned for KP, adding that the documents should be ‘signed by the Chinese’ as they would not be satisfied by papers signed only by Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal.
Asfandyar Wali did not miss an opportunity to criticise the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s government in KP and said that it was for the first time... that a member of the provincial assembly from the ruling party had hurled allegations against Chief Minister (Pervez Khattak) on the floor of the assembly and called him ‘corrupt’.
He said that the ANP would contest the next general election with a new manifesto.
He said that Bacha Khan had left his ‘Khani’ to serve and educate his people.
He fought against British colonial rulers to liberate the people and promote education and non-violence. Services rendered by Bacha Khan have been acknowledged by all and are the reason why a university has been named after him in his hometown.
The ANP chief recalled that the Bacha Khan University had recently observed the first anniversary of a brutal terrorist attack on its students and staff.
But, he said, the provincial and federal governments had adopted a discriminatory attitude to the university by failing to send their representatives to attend the anniversary.
“Neither the chief minister nor the provincial senior minister hailing from Charsadda district attended the anniversary to acknowledge the sacrifice of the university’s students and staff,” he regretted.
Speaking about the Panama Papers case, the ANP chief said that his party would accept the Supreme Court’s verdict.
He also criticised the KP government for not reaching out to the victims and injured of the Parachinar blast that claimed 25 lives on Saturday.
He said that the ANP could understand the pain felt by families of the victims of terrorism as the party had lost several workers to terrorism. “But their sacrifices have not gone to waste as military operations have hit the terrorists hard.”
He said that CM Khattak was wrong in taking credit for peace as it had been made possible after action taken by security agencies and sacrifices rendered by their personnel.
Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2017