PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party has blasted Prime Minister Imran Khan for linking Pakhtuns with Taliban and claimed that they had suffered the most in the war on terror.
In separate statements issued here on Tuesday, ANP central general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain and provincial president Aimal Wali Khan alleged that the prime minister had insulted the Pakhtuns by linking them with terrorists. They said linking a handful of terrorists with Pakhtuns was insult of the peace-loving people.
Mr Aimal Wali said ANP leaders and workers had played key role in combating terrorism by offering sacrifices of lives. He said the world knew very well as to who had offered Taliban to open office in Pakistan. He lamented that linking the Pakhtuns with terrorism or describing them as Taliban was unjustifiable and condemnable.
He said Pakhtuns would not remain silent if Imran Khan did not seek apology from them over his derogatory remarks.
Mr Iftikhar said Pakhtuns had been suffering for the past four decades due to the war on terror, saying about 70 proscribed organisations had been active in Punjab but even then Pakhtuns were blamed for terrorism.
He said Pakhtuns were the worst affected as terrorists had targeted their political leaders, worship places, funerals and markets.
The ANP leader said the federal government had failed to control the increasing inflation and, was now trying to divert public attention from its weaknesses through such irresponsible statements. He said frequent increase in oil prices, power and gas tariff had made lives of the poor extremely miserable.
Mr Iftikhar said terrorists were regrouping in Pakistan but the government was yet to take a decisive action against them. He stressed the need for implementing the National Action Plan in real sense to eradicate the menace of terrorism and establish lasting peace in the country.
Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2021