PESHAWAR, Dec 9: Showing concern over lawlessness in Karachi, Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali Khan has asked President Asif Ali Zardari to convene a meeting of all stakeholders to find out permanent solution to the crisis-like situation in the port city.
“Karachi is mini-Pakistan and the situation (there) is very serious and intolerable. Therefore, President Zardari should bring all stakeholders to the negotiation table to meticulously discuss the issue and work out a durable solution,” he told a press conference at Chief Minister’s House after presiding over party provincial working committee meeting on Sunday.
The ANP chief said that all stakeholders should put their heads together and hold serious debate on Karachi. The number of stakeholders involved in Karachi issue was increasing day by day, he said.
He said that every Urdu speaker in Karachi should not be considered worker of Mutahidda Qaumi Movement and every Pakhtun should not be treated as member of ANP.
“I have personally discussed Karachi situation with President Zardari recently and suggested him to work out sustainable solution,” Mr Khan said, adding that new delimitations and preparation of new voter lists ordered by the Supreme Court might change the scenario in Karachi.
The ANP president, who remained out of media for long time due to his illness, spoke elaborately on Afghanistan. He was optimistic that situation would remain normal after Nato’s pullout from the war-torn country in 2014. He termed release of Taliban leaders by Pakistani government a major and positive step.
“I am optimistic that at least there will be no sustained or organised war against state institutions in Afghanistan in the coming days. However, stopping target killing of individuals would take time,” he said.
The ANP chief urged Pakistan and Afghanistan to adopt confidence building measures, end mistrust and go for actionable intelligence sharing. To a question about Afghan government’s allegations that Pakistan was interfering in its internal affairs, he said that both neighbours should stop the blame game and build trust.
“If Afghanistan levels allegations that its forces are attacked in Khost then Afghan government should also clarify as to who was carrying out attacks on Pakistani troops from Kunar,” he said and added that one party shouldn’t be held responsible for the whole problem.
Mr Khan said that 2014 was very important for the region and fear was growing in every citizen’s mind about what would happen after withdrawal of Nato forces from Afghanistan.
He said that Pakistan was passing through a critical phase therefore the nation needed unity to face the challenges. He said that state institutions, political parties and civil society should play their role in that regard. ANP was ready for talks with Taliban factions but they had to lay down arms before negotiations, he added.
The ANP chief called for more political and administrative reforms in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). He expressed reservations over Lahore High Court’s order regarding construction of Kalabagh Dam and said that the judge should think before giving such a controversial verdict. Technically and legally, he said, the court should have issued notices to other parties before the judgment.
Mr Khan said that the judgment was against the interest of the federation because three assemblies had already passed resolutions against the project. He categorically stated that ANP would not bring fresh resolution against the dam in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly rather it would defend its previous resolutions.
Regarding next elections and ANP strategy, he said that President Zardari had recently stated that dates for caretaker governments and elections schedule would be announced when the parliament completed its tenure in March next.
He claimed that ANP would give surprise from those constituencies that had never remained its strongholds in the past.
The ANP chief said that the party would contest next elections alone and would not go for alliance with other parties although its doors were open. He said that his party would take part in elections on the basis of its performance.
Mr Khan said that performance of provincial government in education, health and communication sectors was excellent.