PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to clear “doubts” about general elections by announcing their schedule without delay and said if that didn’t happen, everyone would believe that polls won’t be held at the end of next January.
“We appreciate the ECP’s announcement about general elections but cannot trust it until their exact date is declared,” ANP provincial president Aimal Wali Khan told a workers’ convention in Tehkal Payan area here on Saturday.
Mr Aimal said that his party doubted whether elections would be held early next year as announced by the ECP.
“The way the ECP has made the election announcement, the ANP firmly believes that the polls won’t be held at the end of January,” he said.
Aimal asks ECP to announce election date
The ANP leader insisted that terrorist attacks didn’t allow his party to carry out the election campaign in 2013.
He said the result transmission system (RTS) was installed for the 2018 polls that led to the imposition of “certain people” on the nation as rulers.
Mr Aimal said that the people with fake public mandate were brought to assemblies as the nation’s representatives.
He said that the ANP government in 2008 had initiated many development projects in Peshawar despite tough conditions.
The ANP leader said that those who used to call Lahore’s metro a “jungla bus service” later ruined Peshawar by launching the bus rapid transit.
He said that the Peshawar BRT project’s cost was less than Rs30 billion but more than Rs100 billion was spent on it.
“Everyone knows that the BRT was designed to finance the PTI’s election campaign,” he said.
Mr Aimal said that former chief minister and PTI-Parliamentarians chief Pervez Khattak was trying to regain power by using abusive language against PTI chief Imran Khan.
He claimed that the powers that be had assured Pervez Khattak and his associates of an end to corruption cases against them in return of diatribe against the PTI leaders.
The ANP leader said that the biggest problem of Pakhtuns was that they didn’t have control over their resources.
He said that the people, who stood with terrorists in the past, couldn’t be the well-wishers of the nation.
Mr Aimal said that the PTI obtained more than Rs900 billion loans during its nine-year rule in the province.
He said that the people wanted to know about the utilisation of that loan.
The ANP leader said that whenever his party talked about the rights of Pakhtuns, it was subjected to allegations and edicts.
He said that if Pakhtuns became aware of the “truth”, they won’t be deceived by the slogans of change or religion-based narratives.
Mr Aimal said that the ANP had never used the rights of Pakhtuns to claim power nor would it do that in future.
“We won’t allow anyone to usurp the rights of Pakhtuns,” he said.
The ANP leader said that his party expected that democracy would be allowed to flourish in the country and that it and others would be allowed to participate in elections freely.
ANP candidate for NA-32 constituency Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour and PK-77 nominee Yasin Khalil also addressed the event.
Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2023