PESHAWAR: President Awami National Party Asfandyar Wali Khan said that democratic process has been facing threats, and if this time again attempts are made to derail the system they will resist against it.
“Some talk about [installing] technocrats, some about a national government. We feel threats to democracy, but all unconstitutional steps will be resisted and democracy defended,” Wali said during his address on the eve of the death anniversaries of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Khan Abdul Wali Khan on Sunday.
He stated that Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan – also known as Bacha Khan – and Wali Khan always supported democracy.
The ANP was following their teachings, the veteran politician from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa said, adding state institutions should stay within their domain; “otherwise, complications will arise”.
While talking about recent terror attacks in Afghanistan, Wali appealed Pakistan, Afghanistan to mutually resolve issues.
“Peace in Pakistan can only be achieved if there is peace in Afghanistan. Likewise, peace in Afghanistan can only be hoped for if there is peace in Pakistan.”
He said their ancestors had called the Afghan jihad a ‘Fasad’.
“Our armed forces have launched Radd-ul-Fassad today, had it been launched 40 years ago, the situation would have been different from what we see today.”
Wali said the need to follow the teachings of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Khan Abdul Wali Khan was more than ever, terming it the only way out of the present morass.
“Americans have elected a mad person as their president who has issued some statements on the Afghan policy that are against Pakistan and Pashtuns,” he said.
“We reserve the right to ask the government about its response to the statements issued by the US president,” he added.
While talking about the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), the ANP chief said those who have prepared the recommendations should have resigned after their recommendations were not considered.
“Pakistan is the only country where governments promise but later refuse to fulfill them,” he said, adding, “Fata must be given representation in the K-P assembly before the next general polls and a constitutional amendment should be made, quota allocated of Fata ministers in the cabinet.”
He also questioned the Western Route of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying the prime minister should clear uncertainty about the route as there were speculations that there was no western route.
“The China-Punjab Economic Corridor will never be accepted.”
While talking about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan using the word ‘Lanat’ for parliament, Wali said the one who used the word was himself part of the same parliament and will contest elections for the same parliament.
In the same vein he said JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Sirajul Haq cursed each other for over four years and at the same time enjoyed the government luxuries “but as they see the general elections approaching, they both have joined hands — not for the glory of Islam but to grab power.
He demanded of the government to arrest the culprits behind the murder of four-year old Asma in Mardan; “otherwise, the ANP will take to streets”.
He also condemned the killing of Naqeebullah Mehsood in a fake encounter in Karachi.