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QUETTA: The Awami National Party (ANP) and the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) on Thursday announced thier alliance to support each other’s candidates contesting the elections from various constituencies in Quetta.

The announcement was made at a joint press conference addressed by ANP’s provincial president Asghar Khan Achakzai and HDP chairman Abdul Khaliq Hazara.

The leaders of the two parties said that as an outcome of the understanding, the ANP would withdraw its candidates Tania Aslam from PB-26 and Arbab Omar Farooq from PB-27 in favour of HDP candidates, while HDP chairman Khaliq Hazara would withdraw his nomination papers from NA-265 in favour of ANP’s Arbab Umar Farooq Kasi.

The two parties would now conduct a joint campaign for their candidates which would be a “good precedent for other political parties to follow”, Mr Hazara said.

As an outcome of the understanding, ANP will withdraw its candidates from PB-26 and from PB-27 in favour of HDP candidates

Referring to the HDP’s alliance with BNP-Mengal in the previous election, Mr Hazara said his party had tried to contact Sardar Akhtar Mengal for the alliance this time also, but the BNP-Mengal leader did not respond.

Mr Achakzai condemned Tuesday’s suicide bombing at ANP’s corner meeting in Peshawar which left party candidate Haroon Bilour and scores of other ANP supporters dead and injured.

He said that despite sacrificing dozens of lives of ANP leaders and workers and supporters over the past several years in terrorist attacks, the ANP had not resorted to violence or boycotted elections as the party believed in a peaceful struggle to achieve people’s rights.

He said that such terrorist attacks would not deter the party from its path and it would continue its democratic struggle and fully take part in the electoral process.

“In 2013 election, ANP leader Bashir Bilour had been killed in a terrorist attack and in 2018 his son Haroon Bilour was killed during the election rally in Peshawar, but we will participate in the election to make democracy and democratic institutions strong in the country,” Mr Achakzai said.

Referring to the ANP alliance with the HDP, he said that the ANP had made a seat-to-seat adjustment with the HDP in Quetta.

He said that several candidates contesting the election on Quetta city’s seat were basically from Qilla Abdullah, Qilla Saifullah and Mastung, but the people of Quetta should vote for candidates who lived in the provincial capital and they were well aware of the problems of the local people.

Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2018