ANP’s Zahid Khan criticises Asad Qaiser for urging KP to cut ties with Centre

Published March 31, 2024
Awami National Party (ANP) leader Zahid Khan speaks on DawnNews show ‘Doosra Rukh’ on Saturday night. — DawnNewsTV
Awami National Party (ANP) leader Zahid Khan speaks on DawnNews show ‘Doosra Rukh’ on Saturday night. — DawnNewsTV

Awami National Party (ANP) leader Zahid Khan has criticised PTI’s Asad Qaiser for advising his party’s chief minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to snap all ties with the federal government.

On Friday, the PTI central leader advised KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur to snap all ties with the federal government as the Centre would not accept his demands. The advice had come a day after Gandapur met Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi in Peshawar and discussed a joint strategy to fight terrorism.

“This is my advice to the KP chief minister that he should end all contact with the federation as it [the federal government] will not accept any of his demands,” said Qaiser in a statement.

“They have not appoi­nted a single officer on your [the CM’s] demand and neither there has been any progress on the issue of the payment of the arrears to the province,” said Qaiser, who had served as the National Ass­embly speaker under the previous PTI government.

“This is the time for resistance and not conciliation,” said Qaiser as he urged lawyers, civil society members, media, teachers, students and farmers to participate in the “movement for constitutional supremacy”.

Speaking on DawnNewsTV programme Doosra Rukh on Saturday night, the ANP leader said: “This is a revolt. If we said this, then perhaps we would be called traitors.”

He said that KP had prospered after the 18th Amendment was passed in 2010. “On one hand we were fighting terrorism and on the other we were carrying out development work […] our province was prospering,” he said.

He regretted that progress had declined after the PTI came into power in 2013.

“If you cut ties with the Centre, then what will you achieve? Our province will suffer,” he said, adding that the provincial government did not even have money to pay salaries at the moment. He decried that KP was being made a “sacrificial goat”.

Talking about the apparent differences in the narrative of PTI leaders, the ANP leader said that the party now mostly comprised lawyers. “Where are their own people? Someone ask Asad Qaiser that who listens to you?”

He further said that PTI founder Imran Khan should have made Qaiser “the head [of the party] because at least he is a political [person]”.

He reiterated that Qaiser’s advice to the KP chief minister constituted a “revolt”, adding: “If such is the situation, then tomorrow he may implement governor’s rule.”

PPP’s Kaira suggests possibility of governor rule

Meanwhile, PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the federal government wanted to work alongside the KP CM and advised Gandapur not to heed Qaiser’s remarks.

“I think that rather than giving a statement we should pray that this situation does not develop,” Kaira said in an interview with DawnNewsTV programme Doosra Rukh today.

He said that political differences and state matters should be kept separate, adding that state matters cannot be stopped just because of political differences.

“We are supporting the government today and when the elections come we would contest against them,” he said.

He stated that if an exceptional situation develops then there are provisions in the Constitution for it when questioned about the imposition of governor rule in KP.

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