ANP won’t let system derail, says Asfandyar

Published January 29, 2018
PESHAWAR: Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan addresses the rally on Sunday.—Shahbaz Butt / White Star
PESHAWAR: Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan addresses the rally on Sunday.—Shahbaz Butt / White Star

PESHAWAR: Awami National Party (ANP) president Asfandyar Wali Khan has said that democratic dispensation in the country is under threat but his party will come out against any unconstitutional step.

Addressing a rally organised in connection with the death anniversaries of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, known as Bacha Khan, and Khan Abdul Wali Khan here on Sunday, the ANP chief said his party would neither compromise on its principles nor allow anyone to derail the system.

Without mentioning Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, he said people had threatened to resign from the assemblies and cursed parliament. He said the person who had cursed parliament would contest the upcoming elections to become its member “which is strange”. “If you have self-respect and honour then you should resign from the assembly,” he said.

KP government warned of movement if Mardan rape-murder case suspect is not held in seven days

The ANP leader said that some deman­ded formation of a national government and others called for government of technocrats. “Democratic system is under threat, but the ANP will oppose unconstitutional steps to save the system,” reiterated Mr Wali.

The party commemorated the 30th death anniversary of Bacha Khan and 12th anniversary of Wali Khan, the founder of the ANP.

This was ANP’s big show in the provincial capital after a long time. Previously, the party had to organise anniversaries and other functions in walled compounds due to threats from militants.

Impressed by the large participation of workers, former chief minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti termed the rally “Bacha Khani (thoughts of Bacha Khan) versus tsunami” which the PTI uses as its slogan.

Party workers and supporters came from different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas to participate in the rally. Long queues of vehicles were seen on both sides of Peshawar Ring Road. The venue was decorated with portraits of Bacha Khan, Wali Khan and other party leaders. “Today the entire country has focused on the rally and is surprised at the ANP power show,” said Mr Wali.

Expressing deep concern over the bomb explosion in Kabul that killed around 100 people, the ANP leader urged Pakistan and Afghanistan to settle down their issues through peaceful means.

He said US President Donald Trump’s new strategy for Afghanistan was against the interest of Pakhtun nation.

He said his father Khan Abdul Wali Khan and grandfather Bacha Khan had warned the nation against repercussions of the war in Afghanistan and termed it Fasaad (tumult). At that time some people issued fatwa against the ANP leaders, he said. “Now Raddul Fasaad is under way in the country to crush Fasaad that had started in the 1980s,” he said.

“Afghanistan and Pakistan are closely related to each other,” he said, adding that peace and stability in one country affect the neighbouring country.

Fata’s merger

The ANP chief demanded merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Agencies (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa before the general elections so that people of the region could get representation in the provincial assembly. He also proposed amendment to the Constitution to allocate a special quota for Fata people in the KP cabinet.

He said the federal government had backtracked on its commitment about the merger despite the recommendations of a six-member committee set up for the purpose. He said the members of the committee, including the KP governor, should resign as the government failed to implement its report.

Condemning the recent rape and murder of minor girls in Punjab and KP, the ANP chief said the Punjab police had arrested the suspect involved in the Kasur incident, but the KP police had yet to trace the culprits involved in the Mardan incident.

“I give a deadline to the KP government to arrest the suspect in the Mardan case within seven days or else the ANP will launch a movement against the provincial government,” he warned.

Referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, the ANP president accused the federal government of ignoring the rights of KP. He demanded that work be carried out on the western route of the corridor along with allied facilities.

“If KP rights are not protected in the multi-billion dollars project then we will consider it ‘China-Punjab Economic Corridor’,” he remarked.

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2018

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