ISLAMABAD: The Awami National Party (ANP) has supported the US-sponsored plan for peace with Taliban and the Pakistan-Afghanistan accord to take the dialogue process forward.
Talking to reporters after launching his party’s membership campaign at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa House here on Sunday, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan said the use of military means was no more an effective way of resolving the political issues.
When asked to comment on Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s Saturday visit to Kabul, accompanied by Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvaiz Kayani, the ANP chief said his party had always supported dialogue with ‘saner elements’ among the Taliban for the sake of regional stability.
Mr Khan, who has been avoiding interaction with the media since he started living in Islamabad after escaping an attempt on his life in Charsadda, criticised US drone attacks and killing of innocent tribesmen.
He said that merely saying that the attacks were counter-productive was not enough because intrusion into Pakistani territory by the US-led allied forces was illegal and a violation of the law because their UN mandate was limited to the Afghan territory.
He said that terrorists were concentrated in tribal areas and their presence in the settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was not established.About the presidential reference relating to the Z. A. Bhutto case, the ANP chief said: “Let this historical wrong be corrected once and for all.”
He said the situation in Karachi needed to be brought under control by using all the resources at the command of the federal and Sindh governments.
He refused to comment on the sacking of Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza and termed it an internal matter of the PPP.
He said his party’s government had initiated a process of dialogue in Malakand and Swat when the so-called liberal civil society was opposing it.
He said the ANP believed that talks were the only way to end terrorism and resolve militancy-related issues because sections of elements among the extremists were challenging Pakistan’s sovereignty and writ of the state.
When asked about the movement the people of Hazara division had launched for a separate province, he challenged the leaders of the movement to work for achieving their goal through a legal battle like the ANP had waged for years for renaming of the province and eventually winning it constitutionally.
He said his party had launched an ambitious three-week countrywide membership campaign after which elections would be held at primary, tehsil, district, provincial and central levels between July and October.