PESHAWAR: Awami National Party president in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mian Iftikhar Hussain on Monday said the rising militancy and deteriorating law and order situation in the province had become a major worry for the residents by posing a serious threat to their lives.

“There is an anarchy-like situation in our province as the members of all political parties as well as other people are caught in the cross hairs of terrorists,” Mr Hussain told a multi-party meeting at the party’s headquarters, Bacha Khan Markaz, here.

The ANP organised the moot to discuss security issues and a collective struggle for peace.

The participants included provincial emir of the Jamaat-i-Islami Inayatullah Khan, provincial general secretary of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl Maulana Attaul Haq Darwesh, Mazdoor Kisan Party chairman Afzal Khamosh, Pakhtunkhwa National Awami Party provincial president Ashraf Hoti, Qaumi Watan Party leader Tariq Ahmad Khan, National Democratic Movement provincial general secretary Nadeem Askar and Awami Works Party leader Kifayat Khan Advocate, and ANP senior vice-president in the province Syed Aqil Shah.

Participants of multi-party meeting agree on collective struggle for peace

They held a detailed discussion on the rising militant activities and deteriorating law and order situation, economic crisis, rigging in the last general elections, autonomy, and other issues of the province.

Mr Hussain said that there was no writ of the government in the province with southern parts being “virtually ruled by terrorists at the nighttime.”

He insisted that the proposed military operation against militancy in the province, Azm-i-Isthekam, was meant to please the US and block the multi-billion dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

The ANP leader said that the people no longer trusted military offensives or the government’s talks with militants.

He said that the government should take political parties, parliament and other stakeholders into confidence before taking any decision about a new military operation against militancy.

Mr Hussain said that the province’s serious economic issues had increased the misery of the residents.

He also said that the province’s autonomy was under serious threat, while hurdles were created to the provision of the due share in national resources to the province under the NAF Award.

“In order to resolve these problems, fresh elections are necessary under the supervision of an independent judiciary and without the interference of the establishment. This exercise will help restore people’s confidence in parliament,” he said.

Chairman of the Mazdoor Kisan Party Afzal Khamosh told the meeting that a continuous struggle was necessary to resolve the province’s issues.

He, however, said that under the current circumstances, all stakeholders should take the one-point agenda of peace forward.

Provincial general secretary of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl Attaul Haq Darwesh said that it was the prime responsibility of the state to ensure peace and protect public life and property in the country, but the state had miserably failed to fulfil it.

He said that his party was opposed to the launch of another military offensive against militancy in the province without taking stakeholders into confidence.

Provincial deputy emir of the Jamaat-i-Islam Inayatullah Khan said that his party had already rejected the government’s decision about the Operation Azm-i-Istehkam.

He said that the province’s all security issues should be handled by the police, while the military personnel should be immediately removed from security checkposts.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2024

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