ANP chief tells India: ‘For Taliban, Delhi is not a remote target’

Published: April 23, 2011
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"We don't have enough forces to fight extremists in Swat, Bajaur, Buner and other places" says ANP President.

"We don't have enough forces to fight extremists in Swat, Bajaur, Buner and other places" says ANP President.

NEW DEHLI: 

Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan said that if India can assure that its border with Pakistan will not be attacked, Pakistan could use those forces to fight extremists elsewhere.

Khan was speaking at the Jamia Millia Islami in New Delhi on Friday, where he delivered a lecture on “Vision for Pakistan in the 21st Century”.

Mindful that Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik was present in the audience, Khan was guarded both in his observations and his replies to questions. In the past, unguarded comments by Pakistanis, like journalist Najam Sethi, have compromised them when they return home.

“We don’t have enough forces to fight extremists in Swat, Bajaur, Buner and other places and Pakistan cannot withdraw forces from its eastern border along India beyond a certain point,” he said.

Khan favoured a regional solution to Af-Pak problems and warned that, if unattended, these might spill over into India. “Invaders who have crossed Peshawar have always reached Kolkata. If you have to stop Taliban extremists or the al Qaeda, help us finish them across the Indus River. Otherwise, Delhi is not a target too far.”

Khan said in 2009-10, 478 schools were destroyed and 221 health establishments bombed. “Pakistan is the key to the region. Whatever happens in Pakistan spills over to Afghanistan and to India,” he said. Addressing India, he said: “You have brought up a generation to hate Pakistan and in Pakistan we have brought up a generation to hate India. We have to fight fanaticism together.”

He dismissed the suggestion that Pakistan Army was not targeting groups inimical to India and said that it was fighting Lashkar-e-Taiba’s cadres in Waziristan. “Pakistan’s army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is a sincere person who supports peaceful ties with India,” he said. Calling Afghanistan the gateway to the subcontinent, he said that Pakhtuns had never been fundamentalists and Afghans had never tolerated foreign domination.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2011.


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Reader Comments (18)

  • John
    Apr 22, 2011 - 9:23PM

    As I see it, the problems are Pakistan’s to solve and India will support it. But not with gun to her head.

    The road from Peshawar to Kolkata are soaked with blood. Fortunately for India that road passes through Islamabad.

    So the immediate problem is for PAK and it comes from Peshawar.

    The PAK army is resting in her eastern border for a long time and so are the Indians. The Indians enjoy their rest.

    Can PAK afford to enjoy the rest? Recommend

  • Highly Opinionated
    Apr 22, 2011 - 10:09PM

    Really?Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 23, 2011 - 2:50AM

    @John:
    No John, they can not rest too long, as Uncle Sam is making noises for them to wake up! And considering the admin is facing election in coming year, they really need to show that average joe’s hard paid tax is not being wasted on these numskulls!! Hence the poilicy of continuied Drone strikes and the message that” if you will not act and resolve the problem, we will ” Its clear that Washington is under pressure from various angles, in regards to their policy in war on terror ! The idea that a senior partner is reluctant to act in the effort on their doorstep is rather shocking, after all the Tax Dollars spent on the cause and to assist the partner!!!!Recommend

  • Maria
    Apr 23, 2011 - 7:46AM

    @John: How can India speak about any of this when they are the biggest proliferators of terror in the region. Apart from ignoring a United Nation mandated referendum on Kashmir, they continue to terrorize the population. Then they are actively involved in supporting criminals who are sent across from Afghanistan to hurt innocent civilians in Pakistan. The Pakistani government needs to press home this reality to the world community.Recommend

  • Somdet
    Apr 23, 2011 - 9:56AM

    “Invaders who have crossed Peshawar have always reached Kolkata. If you have to stop Taliban extremists or the al Qaeda, help us finish them across the Indus River. Otherwise, Delhi is not a target too far.”

    History of unified India shows ithat n the initial phases invadors who have crossed peshawar have reached Calcutta. Britishers did the opposte- they entered from Calcutta and reached peshawar. Modern day India now knows both routes and have taken enough precautions. There is no possiboity of anyone entering from Calcutta, so remainig route is only through peshawar. Now since the taliban cannot cross Indian border, they will have their pleasure in pakistan only. worry about pakistan only.Recommend

  • John
    Apr 23, 2011 - 10:32AM

    @Hedgefunder:
    Hey, how are you. Just read in ET that 60% of $12 billion reimbursement that Washington gives to PAK goes directly to PAK army GHQ. Plus PAK army salary from PAK budget!

    The PAK leaders used to threat only PAK people saying Hindus are coming to Lahore! Now they begin to threat India also saying that Taliban is coming to Delhi.

    Can not contain my laughter. Indians were screaming about the Taliban assets for years, and the ANP leader is preaching to the choir. Recommend

  • pakarmy
    Apr 23, 2011 - 10:53AM

    attack wazaristan now and save rest of pakistan from suicide bombersRecommend

  • ashok sai
    Apr 23, 2011 - 11:26AM

    Same blackmail tactics, previous times it may worked for Pakistan but nor this time around. No political outfit will get mandate to engage Pakistan unless 26/11 taken to logical conclusion.Recommend

  • Ravi
    Apr 23, 2011 - 11:46AM

    if India can assure that its border with Pakistan will not be attacked, Pakistan could use those forces to fight extremists elsewhere.
    When has india attacked pakistan in the first place??????
    Don’t train pakistani terrorist and attack indians in india, and the border with india will remain peacefull.

    “We don’t have enough forces to fight extremists in Swat, Bajaur, Buner and other places and Pakistan cannot withdraw forces from its eastern border along India beyond a certain point,” he said

    If you don’t have forces to fight terrorism then why did pakistani army created these frankenstein monsters???????
    “Invaders who have crossed Peshawar have always reached Kolkata.
    Naive pakistani speakers forget that it’s not 15 century any more this is 2011…..
    India is not the same land of peacefull hindus anymore, who assimilated muslims with open hands. Hindus are also ready for the challenge this time…………
    “You have brought up a generation to hate Pakistan and in Pakistan we have brought up a generation to hate India
    For pakistanis and muslims in general actions speak louder than words.
    They hate all non muslims because it’s in their green book…….
    As far as non muslims hating muslims are concerned , musims are hated worldwide for their deeds………….
    So it’s not about indian generaton hating pakistanis.
    It’s a universal phenomenon now………Recommend

  • india
    Apr 23, 2011 - 2:13PM

    @maria

    How can India speak about any of this when they are the biggest proliferators of terror in the region. Apart from ignoring a United Nation mandated referendum on Kashmir, they continue to terrorize the population.

    ahha!!india created taliban,lashkar toiba,jaise muhammad ,Tehrik taliban,haqanni network or JUD(jamat ul dawa)

    Kashmir was peaceful until 1989 and its pakistani militants which polarised the valley!!UN has lost all its credibility in today context.and pakistan needs to vacate pakistan kashmir and go back to status quo era for referendum to take place.

    what about balochistan,karachi and other provinces except punjab..Everyone in pakistan is terroried.(shiya,ahmadi,hindu,sikh and christian)..did india kill your state governor and chrisitian cabinet minister

    Then they are actively involved in supporting criminals who are sent across from Afghanistan to hurt innocent civilians in Pakistan. The Pakistani government needs to press home this reality to the world community.

    its pakistani taliban who are bombing afganistan and bombing pakistan!!We did hear yesterday about pakistan double game in WOT.Everyone in world knows that pakistan is supporting haqanni network!!So from last 10 years,pakistan has done nothing to control taliban!Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 23, 2011 - 4:28PM

    @John:
    Yes ! hello John, How are you? Hope you are well ! Yes i read that article too!!! Lot of creative accounting being done by the army it seems !!!!!
    These lot really have no Shame at all, when it comes to money!!!
    Love to know why the balance is held up and what were the nature of actual invoices too! But this is Democratic Pakistan, hence everything is done behind closed doors and the Army are not answerable to any elected body either!!!!
    Wonder what channel did these funds go thru, as you pointed out its not documented in major bank reports either!!!!! Its perhaps classed as not healthy for masses to be enlightened !
    The sad thing is the people of Pakistan do not question these things and are contended to what Lip service army and Govt provide!!!!!Recommend

  • Salman Orangiwala
    Apr 23, 2011 - 9:55PM

    The leader of ANP lacks the gut to stay in his own hometown Peshawar , fear of Taliban being the sole reason .

    Now he is begging the “mighty” Indians to bail him out as it is a matter of time till the Taliban reaches for his jugular veins. Recommend

  • Alert
    Apr 24, 2011 - 11:41AM

    Pakistanis can blame India all they want, but the world has identified Pakistan as the hub of terror and bloodshed, from mid-90s. In his book ‘Who Killed Daniel Pearl’ http://www.amazon.com/Killed-Daniel-Pearl-Bernard-Henri/dp/0971865949 , French author Bernard Henry-Levi identified the following neck-deep in terror:
    Omar Sheikh, ISI, JeM, LeT, Khalid Sheikh Muhommad, Al-Qaeda, Bilori Masjid, HuM and Taliban. Keeping up to the tradition, Time Square bomber’s roots were found to go where? Yes… Teror Republic of Pakistan!
    As though the above is not enough, Hamas and Hizb-Allah have been reigning terror for decades and who has not seen the on-camera slaughter of Nick Berg?
    Ofcourse, it is everybody’s fault, not the blood-thirsty fellow muslim-brothers in Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Mulla Omar or Muslim Khan.Recommend

  • M.Asad
    Apr 26, 2011 - 12:46PM

    Taliban incubators are better nurished in countries like Pak and Middle-east,I mean to say mainly muslim countries.Not in countries like India.Why do they come here?? To see bollywood movies or IPL or to pray in temples.Don’t u know what happened to Khalistan movement in Punjab.If people don’t support them,then they won’t be able to do nothing.

    This is not Mammod Ghazni or Alecxander era.
    Recommend

  • Aryabhat
    Apr 26, 2011 - 3:10PM

    “Invaders who have crossed Peshawar have always reached Kolkata. If you have to stop Taliban extremists or the al Qaeda, help us finish them across the Indus River. Otherwise, Delhi is not a target too far.” WOW!

    Mr Khan forgets that wehn Invaders crossed Peshwar to reach Kolkata, India and Hindus were divided in hundreds of states. Same as when British came. That is why both were successful. History also tells us (somethign Mr Khan forgot) that once Chanakya united Hindus after invasion by Alexander (who by the way passed Peshawar but did not and could not reach Kolkata), India was safe for next 1000 years and defeated every invasion coming from Peshawar side. In 1947, a new Chanakya – Sardar Patel – unified India. “Those who forget the history are condemnded to…..” Recommend

  • chandran
    Apr 26, 2011 - 3:50PM

    ANP party of swat valley always Indian favour party like his founder Bachaa Khan close Nehru associate.Recommend

  • goggi
    Apr 27, 2011 - 12:41AM

    @ashok sai:
    kasab shall nevvvvvvver see the gallows, becoz he is the henchman of the same political underworld of India for whom you guys work as well! He is perhaps the only punjabi villager of pakistan who speak marathi(with the judges)!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • goggi
    Apr 27, 2011 - 1:19PM

    @Somdet:
    The British entered Calcutta (India) through the Bay of Bengal but mostly other Invaders entered India through the Khyber pass with the exception of one or two!
    Mohammad bin Qasim, the 17 years young general entered Sindh(India) from the Arabian Sea and his conquest of Sindh and Punjab laid the foundations of Islamic rule in the Indian Subcontinent!
    In 1962 India was attacked from the Himalaya mountains which caused Mr. Nehru such a shock that he died of heart attack.
    According to the version of Indians, a group of Pakistani jihadi boys rowed or sailed in a motor boat from karachi to Bombay without being detected from the so powerful and modern navy of the world!!!!!!Recommend

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