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ANP suspends party membership of Khattak, Gohar for 'causing unrest'

November 12, 2018

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Khattak and Gohar were issued show cause notices last week. — File
Khattak and Gohar were issued show cause notices last week. — File

The Awami National Party (ANP) on Monday suspended the membership of former senator Afrasiab Khattak and senior vice-president Bushra Gohar for allegedly being "involved in activities against the party interests" and "causing unrest in the party ranks".

Last week, the party had issued show cause notices to the duo and directed to submit their written replies within seven days or face action.

According to a notification issued by ANP general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain today, Khattak and Gohar in their detailed response "made the same points they had already made in the central council and other party forums, including the advisory committee".

The party said that the pair, in their response, "sought an explanation over the party policies they had violated and issued show cause notices for, even though the central leadership had already explained their concerns to to them on multiple occasions".

The notification said that Khattak and Gohar were "advised that they were in violation of the party policies but they still continued their activities on social media, which led to chaos among the party workers".

"The party is not at all satisfied with their responses and so the central president, by exercising the right granted to him by the party constitution, has suspended their basic party membership," it added.

When Dawn had contacted Gohar last week to know about the nature of her activities, which might have made the leadership take the disciplinary step, she just replied that she had “requested for details of the alleged anti-party activities. I don’t know much beyond what is written in the show cause notice.”

Surprisingly, both Gohar, a vocal politician and rights activist, and Khattak are aware of the alleged anti-party activities, which caused the wrath of the party’s leadership.

Mr Khattak said he learned about the show cause notice through social media.

“I really have not received anything verbally or in writing so far and only came to know about it (notice) through social media,” he had said when asked what could have caused the party leadership to take disciplinary action against him.

Whether it is against the party’s policy or not, both ANP leaders, who have been very vocal for rights of the Pashtun, actively support the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) on social media by re-tweeting and liking its tweets, whereas the nationalist party they’re associated with has tried to keep a distance from the social rights movement.

Gohar, one of the vocal members of the last National Assembly, was sidelined long before the current show cause notice was issued.

This year for the general election, her name was kept on Serial No 5, the second last on the priority list for the ANP’s reserved seats. A new entrant to the party was on the top of the list.