PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party on Monday announced that it would participate in the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Feb 27 long march on Islamabad against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government.
The announcement came after a PPP delegation led by former opposition leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah met ANP central general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain at the Bacha Khan Markaz here.
PPP provincial president Najamuddin Khan, provincial general secretary Amjad Afridi and former provincial president Syed Zahir Ali Shah, and ANP Senator Haji Hidayatullah and leader Syed Aqil Shah were also present on the occasion.
Mr Khursheed and Iftikhar said the allied opposition would take a unified stand for the early ouster of the PTI government.
PPP’s Khursheed Shah meets ANP leaders in Peshawar
Mr Khursheed said the PPP’s long march against the federal government would begin from the Quaid-i-Azam mausoleum in Karachi on Feb 27 to reach Islamabad on March 11.
He said the decision on long march was made in a ‘state of compulsion’ as the country was moving towards destruction due to the wrong policies of the PTI government.
The PPP leader said awarding commendation certificates to some federal ministers clearly showed that Prime Minister Imran Khan was not satisfied with the performance of most cabinet members.
He said the decision about no-confidence motion against the government would be taken after the completion of the long march on Islamabad.
“We repeatedly raised questions about the poor performance of the government, especially those of the foreign, information and finance ministers, but the prime minister didn’t pay heed to our complaints. However, he has now sensed the failure of his cabinet,” he said.
Mr Khursheed said in the current circumstances, the prime minister had no justification for staying in power.
He said his party had decided about the Islamabad long march after detailed discussion as the government’s all policies were a total failure, which called for the ouster of the prime minister.
The PPP leader resented the growing prices of essential commodities and said the people had serious problems.
He said the frequent increase in the prices of petroleum, power and gas and the value of US dollar exposed the failure of the ‘selected’ government.
Mr Khursheed said Prime Minister Imran Khan had promised the provision of financial relief to the people within 90 days of assuming power but didn’t fulfil his commitments forcing the people to take to the streets against him.
He said the long march on Islamabad was meant to strengthen democracy and parliament and raise the people’s voice effectively.
ANP leader Mian Iftikhar said his party had decided toparticipatein the PPP’s long march on its arrival in Islamabad to show solidarity with it in the ‘larger interest’ of the country.
He said the prime minister awarded certificates to some of his cabinet ministers inviting the people’s anger.
“The entire nation has witnessed the failure of the government, so it can’t be fooled through such moves,” he said.
The ANP leader said a Transparency International report about an increase in corruption incidence in the country during the PTI government was enough for the prime minister to step down.
He said on one hand, inflation was at its peak and on the other, the law and order situation in the country was worsening.
Mr Iftikhar said the targeted attacks on the personnel of law-enforcement agencies and political and religious activists showed that the terrorists had managed to strengthen their network across the country.
He said had the government implemented the 20-point National Action Plan in letter and spirit, the terrorists would have never be able to resume anti-state activities in the country.
The ANP leader said the government, instead of taking concrete steps for the protection of the people, was warning them about terrorist attacks.
He declared the PPP’s decision about the long march against the government ‘timely move’ and said his party would extend full support for the early ouster of the corrupt and incompetent government.
Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2022