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Govt helpless before non-state actors: Asfandyar

February 11, 2018

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Participants listen to ANP’s anthem played during oath-taking ceremony of office-bearers of Malgari Wakeelan in Nishtar Hall, Peshawar, on Saturday. — White Star
Participants listen to ANP’s anthem played during oath-taking ceremony of office-bearers of Malgari Wakeelan in Nishtar Hall, Peshawar, on Saturday. — White Star

PESHAWAR: Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali Khan on Saturday said the government had become helpless before the non-state actors operating within and outside the country.

“Why the government is helpless before non-state actors,” wondered Mr Wali during a function organised by the Malgari Wakeelan, the party lawyers’ wing.

Senior lawyer Abdul Latif Afridi also spoke on the occasion.

He administered oath to the newly-elected office-bearers of the body.

The ANP leader said Pakistan’s relations with neighbours had strained due to the activities of non-state actors.

He stressed the need for reviewing the country’s internal and external policies to improve its relations with the neighbours, saying that without revamping policies situation would not improve.

Expressing concern about the prevailing situation in the country, Mr Asfandyar said the existence of the non-state actors and their interference were the root cause of instability.

He said Kashmir was the main issue between Pakistan and India.

ANP chief calls for review of country’s policies to improve ties with neighbours

“Unless the two countries abandon their respective mantra on Kashmir with one calling it its integral part and the other calling its jugular vein, this issue can never be resolved,” he said, adding that all issues could be resolved under a give-and-take formula.

The ANP leader said normal relations with neighbours were in the larger interest of Pakistan.

Terming corruption a major issue in the country, he said heads of political parties should publicly declare their assets before the nation.

“The party’s heads should declare assets before joining politics and after assuming the charge,” he said while offering himself for accountability.

“I am offering my moveable and immovable assets, which I inherited from my father and grandfather, and the current status of my assets for scrutiny. Hang me publicly if anyone finds an increase of a single inch in my assets,” he said.

Mr Asfandyar said corruption was a major issue of the country.

He promised drastic reforms and changes in the existing judicial and legal system of the province to eradicate corruption after coming to power through elections.

The ANP chief said Panama leaks, which created political turmoil in the country, also carried the names of other politicians and influential figures but only former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was targeted.

He said other people, who had offshore companies, should be held accountable.

Mr Asfandyar demanded the arrest of Karachi Senior Superintendent of Police Rao Anwar over Fata youngster Naqeebullah Mehsud’s extrajudicial killing.

He said Rao Anwar would produce the details of extrajudicial killings and his masters if he was properly interrogated.

Without naming anyone, the ANP chief said SSP Rao Anwar enjoyed the patronage of ‘someone’ to kill the innocent tribal people in Karachi.

Mr Asfandyar criticised the federal government for not acting on the report of the Fata reforms committee and thus, delaying the merger of tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said the federal government had betrayed Pakhtuns by not merging Fata with the province and that the struggle for the unification of Pakhtuns living in Balochistan, KP and tribal areas would continue.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2018