KARACHI: Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan urged political parties on Thursday to forge unity and devise a joint strategy against terrorism which was posing a threat to the state.
Addressing a press conference at the Mardan House, he said ANP was organising an all parties’ conference on a single-point agenda “counter-terrorism and counter-extremism” and urged all political parties to participate in it.
Mr Khan said he had invited President Asif Zardari to attend the conference in his capacity as the PPP co-chairman and he had accepted the invitation.
He said ANP had been the main target of terrorists but others should know that if they did not raise their voice against it their turn would come soon because terrorists were against the entire democratic process and all parties working for democracy were their target.
He said when terrorists coming from different countries could join hands and carry out attacks why political parties could not be united against militancy.
He said if negotiations with the Afghan Taliban could take place in Afghanistan where a civil war was going on, why talks with Pakistani Taliban could not be held in Pakistan.
He said ANP would prefer it if the issues with terrorists were settled through negotiations, but if talks remained fruitless then other options should be used.
He said political parties could resist terrorism but primarily it was the responsibility of state to counter and root out terrorism.
In reply to a question about Dr Tahirul Qadri’s planned long march, he said ANP was a pro-democracy party with a long struggle for democracy and it felt that postponement of elections at this stage could be disastrous for the country.
ANP Sindh leaders Senator Shahi Syed and Bashir Jan were present at the press conference.