PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party (ANP), led by a Pashtun-nationalist politician Asfandyar Wali Khan, has called for an immediate end to the harassment of Afghan refugees in different parts of Pakistan.
At a meeting of ANP’s Central General Council, chaired by Asfandyar Wali Khan, the party leader stressed the need for sorting out dispute with neighbors, particularly Afghanistan, on a priority basis.
“Confrontation and disputes with neighboring countries have damaged the international image and internal situation of the country. The government’s claims of regional economic cooperation have become a mere dream,” the participants said.
Forced repatriation of Afghan refugees was a flagrant violation of international laws, the meeting said, recommending the issue should be resolved through talks with the government in Kabul.
The party denounced terrorism as the root cause of the problems being faced by Pakistan and the region at large. It warned against the wave of anti-Pakhtun terrorism, saying the nation was specifically targeted by terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Earlier, Asfandyar Wali Khan has proudly declared he is an Afghan, as he warned against the harassment of the Afghan refugees in the country. In his address during a really in Swabi, Asfandyar Wali Khan criticized the Interior Ministry for ordering steps that led to harassment of the Afghan refugees.
He proudly declared that he was of Afghan origin and was still an Afghan as mentioned in the revenue recorded. He addressed, “I was Afghan, I am Afghan and I will be Afghan.” In other parts of his speech, Asfandyar Wali Khan slammed the Pakistani authorities for their failure to act against the Afghan militants based in the country.
Noting the recent killing of a prominent Pakistani militant in Afghanistan who was involved in Peshawar’s Army Public School attack, Asfandyar Wali said the authorities in Pakistani have not even killed a single Taliban leader nor they have arrested any of them. “But the Pakistani authorities have not killed or arrested a single leader of the Afghan Taliban on its soil or handed him over to the Afghan government,” he was quoted as saying in a report by The News International.
Asfandyar Khan further added: “If there is disturbance in Afghanistan, Pakistan would also be in turmoil. Peace and progress in the two countries are linked. If anyone has any doubt, he should read history.” He also warned that not only Pakistan, but also the entire region would witness trouble and instability if there was a war in Afghanistan. Insisting on repatriation of Afghan refugees with dignity, Asfandyar WaliKhan said “It is surprising that yesterday they were called the mujahedeen, but today they are forced to go back to Afghanistan.”
THE PASHTUN TIMES