PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party has announced support for Pakistan Peoples Party candidate Faisal Karim Kundi in the Feb 13 electionfor the office of the Dera Ismail Khan tehsil mayor.

Polling for the slot was to be held in the first phase of local body elections but it was postponed due to the murder of ANP nominee Umar Khattab Sherani.

ANP provincial general secretary Sardar Hussain Babak told Dawn that his party would extend full support to the PPP election candidate for the Dera Ismail Khan mayor’s office.

He said that theopposition parties were in contact with each for support in the second phase of local body elections.

Party leader Babak says no seat adjustment with PTI

“The decision to support Faisal Karim Kundi was made after his party’s top leadership formally requested us [ANP leadership] for it,” he said.

Mr Babak, who is also the ANP’s parliamentary leader in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, said that his was a democratic political party, which was open to electoral alliance or seat adjustment with all others except the ruling PTI.

“We cannot ally with the PTI as its government has made the people’s life extremely miserable through unprecedented hike in inflation and unemployment rates by poor economic policies,” he said.

The ANP leader said that the opposition parties were contacting each others for seat adjustment in local body elections in various districts but his party had so far not decided about electoral support or cooperation with others.

He said that a meeting of his party’s candidates for local body elections would be held at the Bacha Khan Markaz in Peshawar on Jan 31 to discuss the polls-related issues.

The meeting will also be attended by central general secretary of the party Mian Iftikhar Hussain and office-bearers of the relevant districts and tehsils.

In a statementissued here on Friday, Mr Babak condemned the murder of an anti-polio worker in North Waziristan tribal district and terrorist incidents in southern districts of the province and Balochistan.

He said that terrorism had made the lives of the people miserable.

“The entire region has been in the grip of terrorism for around four decades with the Pakhtuns being worst affected. It is the duty of the federal government to take pragmatic decisions and steps for the eradication of terrorism once and for all,” he said.

“Pakistan has been facing the menace of terrorism and therefore, it is the duty of the federal government to discuss all core issues in parliament and take the nation into confidence about future strategy on how to address them,” he said.

The ANP parliamentary leader said that terrorist attacks had forced many Pakhtuns to leave their hometowns for safer areas in the country or abroad fearing for their lives.

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2022

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