ANP demands ‘truth commission’ on army’s role in politics

Published November 27, 2022
ANP leader Aimal Wali Khan. — PPI/File
ANP leader Aimal Wali Khan. — PPI/File

PESHAWAR: Awami National Party (ANP) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa president Aimal Wali Khan has urged Chief of Army Staff-designate Gen Asim Munir to constitute a truth commission on ‘military interference’ in politics.

In an open letter to Gen Munir, the Awami National Party leader noted that the outgoing Chief of Army Staff, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, recently declared in a farewell speech that the military had decided in Feb not to interfere in any political issue, which was a positive development.

He wondered who would compensate for the military’s past interference in national politics. Mr Aimal insisted that some political parties were ‘engineered’, while efforts were made to end the role of others.

Aimal Wali writes open letter to Gen Munir, seeks end to ‘electoral, political engineering’

“The army chief’s speech is an admission of the [army’s] open meddling in politics. Now, it has become necessary to constitute a truth commission to inform the people about which political party was engineered and which national party was turned into a regional one,” he said.

The ANP leader said that the proposed panel should investigate how people’s mandates were stolen and political parties were strengthened or weakened from 1947 to 2022.

He also said there should be an end to the use of word ‘neutrality’ by the military leadership and said that everyone should follow the Constitution.

“If the Constitution is followed in letter and spirit, then words like neutrality and neutral will vanish themselves,” he said.

Mr Aimal said that some powers, which the army had held extra-constitutionally, would be handed over to the people and their elected representatives. He, however, didn’t elaborate on it.

The ANP leader said his party hoped that instead of some officers, the representatives of people would have the power to formulate the country’s foreign policy and that the officers won’t sway the budget-making process and instead, parliament would have the authority to make the budget.

He also said that he hoped that there would be across-the-board accountability and that accountability won’t be used as a weapon by the rulers against their political rivals.

Mr Aimal also said he hoped that terrorism would be effectively eliminated from the country during the COAS-designate’s term in office.

“We also expect that electoral and political engineering won’t happen again and that no state institution other than parliament will play any political role. I hope that the factory producing political parties and electables will be shut down for good,” he said.

The ANP leader said that he hoped that the issue of forced disappearances would be resolved and that members of ‘oppressed’ communities in the country would no more be killed and thrown in nullahs and canals.

Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2022

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