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PESHAWAR: Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali Khan has said that after securing provincial autonomy, his party will strive for unification of Pakhtuns living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Fata and Balochistan as it is their prime objective.

“Our foremost objective is to merge Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. After that Pakhtuns in Balochistan province will be integrated with KP to make it a larger Pakhtun-populated entity,” he said while addressing an election rally here on Sunday.

The party had organised a public gathering to show its power ahead of the bye-election on NA-4 here on Sunday. Former deputy speaker of provincial assembly Advocate Khushdil Khan is contesting by-election on NA-4 that fell vacant after the demise of PTI MNA Gulzar Khan.

Asfandyar Wali said that ANP had achieved its main objectives like provincial autonomy, giving identity to the people by renaming the province as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and National Finance Commission Award. “Now ANP has focused on unifications of Pakhtun nation that has been divided into three parts,” he added.

The ANP chief criticised ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif for not implementing recommendations of the report of the committee on Fata reforms that recommended merger of tribal region with KP.

He said that Nawaz Sharif had backed out from its commitment by not implementing his own committee report. He said that Nawaz Sharif had betrayed Pakhtuns in 1997 when he did not fulfil his commitment to rename North West Frontier Province as Pakhtunkhwa.

Says his party wants to unify Pakhtuns living in Fata, KP and Balochistan

“He (Nawaz) was sent abroad in 1999 when his government was toppled. This time he will be in Adiala Jail,” said the ANP chief while referring to the corruption references filed against him in the accountability court.

Her also came down heavily on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan and said that he was interested to capture Islamabad and had nothing to do with Peshawar. He said that Imran’s prime objective was to occupy Islamabad.

About relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the ANP leader urged Islamabad and Kabul to build trust and find out durable solution to the problems. He said that situation would further deteriorate if both countries did not solve bilateral issues through dialogue and the entire region would suffer.

He alleged that federal and provincial governments reached understanding on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and PTI ignored rights of KP in the project.

Mr Khan said that Chief Minister Pervez Khattak used to blame previous governments for promoting corruption and damaging the institutions in the province. He said that Pervez Khattak remained part of almost every government in the past and he had served as minister in the previous government of ANP-PPP.

The ANP chief also criticised Election Commission of Pakistan for not taking notice of the violation of code of conduct in the by-election. “I think the commission has become blind by ignoring the violation of the code of conduct in the by-poll,” he said, adding that Adviser to Prime Minister Amir Muqam was distributing transformers while the provincial government was initiating development schemes in the area.

Speaking on the occasion, Former MPA Saqibullah Khan Chamkani blamed federal and provincial governments for depriving people of the province of their rights. He said that central government was not issuing Computerised National Identity Cards to the people of KP.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2017