No progress achievable without supremacy of Constitution: Achakzai

Published August 4, 2020
QUETTA: Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai addresses a press conference on Monday.—PPI
QUETTA: Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai addresses a press conference on Monday.—PPI

QUETTA: Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai has said that Pakistan cannot move forward and achieve progress unless it attains supremacy of the Constitution, a parliament elected by people and its affairs are being run without any interference from undemocratic forces.

Speaking at a press conference at his Quetta residence on Monday, Mr Achakzai said: “The real issue of the country is not Imran Khan, but the unconstitutional role and interference of undemocratic forces in the affairs and politics of the country.”

He said that the existing system could not run anymore and it was about to collapse. He said how could a system run when the basic concept of justice was being ignored and civil authority did not exist.

Mr Achakzai condemned the Chaman firing incident which left three people dead and said that erecting a fence along the Durand Line with Afghanistan would restrict the movement of Pashtoon tribes who had been living and moving across both sides the Pak-Afghan border from 1893 to 2015.

He said the Pashtoon tribes had lands on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border and they cultivated it for earning their livelihoods.

He said that thousands of poor people had been visiting border areas of both countries to run their small business and for other routine works on a daily basis for the last 122 years without passports and restrictions imposed by the government on their movements had deprived them of their livelihood.

“There is no justification for putting restrictions on the movement of Pashtoons on both sides of the border,” he said.

The PkMAP leader said the country would face a negative impact due to closure of the border from Zahidan to Chaman as the government action would create anger and misunderstanding in the people living on both sides of the border.

He said the Chaman border firing incident was unfortunate and warned that the situation might aggravate if the border was not opened immediately.

“I and many other people may go to the court of law and even the International Court of Justice for getting justice if the situation is not restored as it was before March 15 this year,” Mr Achakzai said.

He demanded that the people should be allowed to cross the Pak-Afghan border on presenting their national identity cards and the permit system should be abolished.

He said if Pakistan cooperated with Afghanistan, the passport system between the two countries could end in the next 10 years.

Referring to the upcoming Multi-Party Conference of opposition parties.

Mr Achakzai termed it a game of musical chairs and announced that he would not attend any such MPC, which did not include supremacy of the Constitution in its agenda.

“I am cautious about the MPC of opposition parties and will advise Maulana Fazlur Rehman not to participate in it,” he said.

“My party does not want to dismember the country, but at the same time we are not ready to become second or third class citizens in the country,” he said, adding that his party was not against institutions, but wanted to improve them for making the country strong.

He said all institutions of the country should work within their constitutional limits and jurisdictions and efforts by any institution to trample and belittle other institutions should be stopped.

He held some state institutions responsible for spreading corruption by creating parties and installing armed groups.

“People remember what had happened during the no-trust motion against the Senate chairman.”

The PkMAP leader demanded resolution of the Baloch-Pashtoon issue.

“We need a separate Pashtoon unit. As long as Pashtoon-Baloch issue is not resolved, the country will not progress. The Baloch are sitting in the assembly by force. We demand a united Pashtoon assembly,” Mr Achakzai said.

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2020

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