QUETTA: Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai has accused the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) of violating its own rules during the delimitation of constituencies.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, he claimed that the recent delimitation of constitutes would disadvantage Pakhtun population in Balochistan. The PkMAP would not allow anyone to show reduced population of Pakhtuns in the province, he said, adding that people of all ethnic groups in the country should have equal rights.
He said some forces in the country had been working against Pakhtuns’ interests for long. The PkMAP had been complaining against a discriminatory attitude towards Pakhtuns in the country, he said, adding that Pakhtuns had always been a victim of racial prejudice in the country.
Mr Achakzai said his party would continue its struggle for the rights of Pakhtuns and would not accept any attempt showing reduced population of Pakhtuns in Balochistan.
He claimed that the recent delimitation of constituencies was directly affecting interests of Pakhtuns in Balochistan. He said the PkMAP would approach courts against the delimitation of constituencies in the province.
PkMAP leaders Senator Usman Khan Kakar, former opposition leader in the provincial assembly Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal and others accompanied the party chairman during the press conference.
Mr Achakzai claimed that some areas having a population of 200,000 had been declared as separate constituency in Balochistan. But, an area having Pakhtun population of 300,000 people had not been declared a separate constituency, he said, adding that it clearly showed injustice with Pakhtuns which would not be accepted.
He said the PkMAP demanded impartial delimitation of constituencies from the union council level to the National Assembly across the country.
Mr Achakzai said his party wanted free and fair elections across the country and called for transfer of power to the party which would win the election. The PkMAP, he added, would not allow any undemocratic move before or after the elections.
He said he was being criticised in the media for supporting the Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement. “I have been raising the issue of injustice with the people of tribal areas since 1996,” he added. He said the supremacy of law and constitution was necessary for the prosperity of the country.
Mr Achakzai said he was supporting former prime minister Nawaz Sharif because he believed in a strong federation and the supremacy of law. “Despite so much criticism and disqualification by the Supreme Court Nawaz Sharif still is the most popular leader of the country and he is the only person who can save this country from further isolation and destruction.”
When his comment was sought over the formation of Balochistan Awami Party, Mr Achakzai said it was unfortunate that those who always compromised on public interests were being portrayed as mainstream leaders in Balochistan.
Talking about the resolution on Chakar Khan Rind University Sibi recently passed by the Balochistan Assembly, the PkMAP chairman said Sibi had its own historical importance.
Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2018