Anti-Pakhtun elements are attempting to destroy the strata of the Pakhtun society, said chairman of his own faction of Pakistan Peoples Party, Aftab Ahmad Sherpao, during a press conference on Saturday. He also criticised the inability of the government to curb violence in the volatile province.
Condemning the killing of 23 people in a bomb blast in Landi Kotal bazaar on Saturday, Sherpao said that military operations are further deteriorating the already fragile law and order situation in the region.“
All military operations conducted in the volatile tribal area were unsuccessful and failed to achieve their targets,” he said.
The lack of a comprehensive plan for the imminent 2014 NATO and US withdrawal from Afghanistan was also highlighted and the importance of policies regarding the pullout to deter any future disruption in Pakistan was emphasised.
Sherpao said the federal government’s 3D strategy – deterrence, development and dialogue – to deal with terrorism has failed, warning that “military operation in North-Waziristan Agency will have serious consequences for the entire region.”
He blamed anti-Pakhtun forces for a well-orchestrated genocide targeting innocent civilians rather than militants. “Hundred of schools have been destroyed in Malakand and tribal areas. The anti-Pakhtun elements are hell-bent to push them into the dark ages,” he said. Sherpao said that Pakhtuns are being labelled as terrorists, and deprived of basic human rights, in the name of insidious vested interests.
Referring to the Awami National Party’s (ANP) performance, Sherpao said the so-called “champions” of Pakhtun rights had done nothing for the people.
“The ANP government had promised that there will be no power outages and free electricity will be provided to the people; they then said that initial 100 units will be free, but they did not live up to the people’s expectations,” he added.
He also said that billions had been provided to the government for reconstruction of the flood-hit areas of the province and for compensation to the people affected by the war on terror, but none of the money has reached the people it was intended for.
“The amount provided by NGOs and international donors has been massively misappropriated,” he said.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2012.
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