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ANP new provincial chief vows to protect Pakhtuns’ rights

April 11, 2019

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ANP leader Ilyas Bilour casts his vote in party’s provincial council elections at Bacha Khan Markaz, Peshawar, on Wednesday. — White Star
ANP leader Ilyas Bilour casts his vote in party’s provincial council elections at Bacha Khan Markaz, Peshawar, on Wednesday. — White Star

PESHAWAR: Aimal Wali Khan, the great-grandson of Bacha Khan and political heir of Asfandyar Wali Khan, was elected unopposed provincial president of Awami National Party in the intra-party elections here on Wednesday.

“I feel proud to be following the path of my forefathers in serving Pakhtuns for the fourth generation. We are struggling for their identity and rights,” he told Dawn after getting elected as the provincial head of the party for a four-year term.

Aimal Wali Khan, who also contested for provincial assembly seat from his hometown Charsadda but lost in the previous general elections, felt that it was never a seat or to be in power but an opportunity to strive for the rights of Pakhtuns and he got the opportunity as the provincial head of ANP.

Aimal Wali Khan advises office-bearers to lodge complaints at party forum instead of social media

He said that although ANP during its government materialised its promise of getting identity for the province and provincial autonomy and rights through 18th Amendment, yet as Bacha Khan said that Pakhtuns got their rights but never sustained the same so he would resist any move to take back provincial autonomy and rights of the province.

Mr Khan said that as provincial president of ANP, he knew that it was a long and hard struggle, especially in the newly merged tribal districts, to start a political struggle but he would visit those districts as the areas were merged in name only and were still “Fata”.

He said that his aim would be not to win a seat but include the people of tribal districts in political struggle and involve them in political activities.

According to a press statement, Aimal Wali Khan was elected new provincial president of ANP unopposed and Sardar Hussain Babak for the second time won the slot of provincial general secretary of the party by getting 279 votes while his opponent Imran Afridi bagged 179 votes.

The election commission headed by Mian Iftikhar Hussain also announced that Khalil Abbas Khattak was elected unopposed vice president, Shazia Aurangzeb vice president (women), Khadija Sardar second vice president, Shehnaz Raja and Shaheen Zameer joint secretaries, Sadruddin provincial information secretary, Mukhtiyar Khan finance secretary, Nisar Khan culture secretary, Shahi Khan Shirani vice president for tribal districts, Sher Shah Khan deputy general secretary, Khusheed Khattak additional general secretary and Asif Bhatti was elected for the second time secretary of minority affairs.

Advocate Khudil Khan became senior vice president of the party getting 300 votes while Saqibullah Chamkani was elected second vice president by grabbing 268 votes.

Aimal Wali Khan in his first address to the elected provincial council of ANP said that he would take the office-bearers along in all decisions and advised them to use party forum for filing complaints or sharing their grievances than using social media or media for the purpose.

In another press release, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan announced to start a series of public meetings in the newly merged tribal districts.

While congratulating the newly elected provincial council, he announced to start public meetings in tribal districts starting from Khyber, Bajaur and Mohmand districts. He also said that ANP would take part in elections in tribal districts.

The ANP chief urged the opposition parties to join hands to save the country.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2019