The Awami National Party (ANP) has expelled two senior leaders – former senator Afrasiab Khattak and provincial vice-president Bushra Gohar – for going against the ‘party policy’ and causing ‘confusion among workers’.
According to a notification issued from the Bacha Khan Markaz Peshawar on Monday, the membership of both the leaders was suspended for “involvement in activities against the party policy and discipline”.
General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain issued the membership suspension notification on the orders of ANP President Asfandyar Wali Khan.
Last Monday, the party had served show-cause notices on former senator and provincial president Khattak and senior vice-president and former parliamentarian Gohar, seeking replies within a week.
“Your activities are against the party policy and discipline and are also spreading confusion among the party ranks, thus causing irreparable loss to the party,” reads the notices.
The duo, however, failed to satisfy the party leadership and their membership was suspended.
“They were cautioned against violating the party discipline but they continued to do so on social media which created confusion among the party ranks. The party is not satisfied with their answers which is why the party president has suspended their membership in line with the party constitution,” states the suspension notification.
In her response to the show-cause notice, Gohar sought pertinent references to her alleged activities against the party’s interests, policy and discipline. She said the notice served on her did not mention the party’s constitutional clauses under which it was served.
In her reply, Gohar noted that party President Asfandyar was on an official visit to Russia when she was served the notice. She demanded of the party to provide her the position of the directions issued from outside the country by the party president particularly when the party was under the chairmanship of an acting president.
She questioned when the issue was so serious why it was not taken up as a priority agenda in the recent meeting of the party’s central and provincial council.
“The vagueness of the notice has given rise to speculations and doubts about the transparency of decision-making within the party at the highest level. It has also caused confusion among the party’s rank and file,” she stated in the written response to the notice, adding that she followed the philosophy of Bacha Khan, party’s constitution and policies.
In her reply, Gohar listed a few issues she focused on and supported in her official and personal capacity. The list includes working for democracy, human rights, erstwhile Fata merger, demilitarisation of state and society, campaigning against Talibanisation, religious extremism, oppression, patriarchy, tribalism, and seeking justice for Pashtuns and other oppressed nations.
She requested the ANP general secretary, to whom she submitted the written reply, to ask Asfandyar to convene a central council or central executive committee meeting of the party for discussion on the allegations levelled against her.
And in his response, Khattak described the allegations of breaching party policy and discipline against him as vague, and said that was why he was unable to give a satisfactory answer.
“Since I have not been provided with any charge-sheet, I consider it very unrealistic to submit a response to unknown allegations,” said Khattak in a two-page reply submitted with the party’s general secretary.
He said he had been associated with the ANP and the Pakhtun Students Federation for the last 50 years and had a fair idea about the party’s policy and discipline.
He requested the general secretary to take up the allegations levelled against him at the relevant forums of the party.
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