Hands off 18th Amendment, ANP tells PTI govt

Asfandyar Wali warns of street protests if provincial autonomy clause touched

Hamid Shahid January 27, 2019
Asfandyar Wali Khan. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: Awami National Party (ANP) will rally the people on the streets to protest if the governing clique dares tampering with the 18th Constitutional Amendment, said ANP President Asfandyar Wali Khan on Saturday.

The 18th Amendment enshrines provincial autonomy and ANP will guard it, he said speaking at the concluding ceremony of Bacha Khan, Wali Khan Week held to mark their death anniversaries.

ANP offices across K-P held ceremonies to pay homage to the struggle of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, popularly known as Bacha Khan, who had mobilised the Pashtuns against British imperialism and his son Khan Abdul Wali Khan who had struggled for democracy, provincial autonomy and secular politics.

Asfandyar said that politics of principles was the hallmark of ANP and its founders. “Captain (Imran Khan) has accused me of owning properties in Dubai and Malaysia, now he will have to prove it, I am ready for one-on-one with him on television, if he fails to prove the accusation, he will have to return me whatever I have lost from my ancestral lands and property, all of it,” Asfandyar said.

Taking a swipe at PM Imran Khan for lopsided accountability he said people would like to know how his sister Aleema Khan became a billionaire by selling sewing machines.

“We want to know the formula for making Rs8 billion worth of property from sale of sewing machines,” the ANP chief said addressing the 13th death anniversary of ANP founder Khan Abdul Wali Khan at Bacha Khan Markaz in Peshawar on Saturday.

Party stalwarts Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour , Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Sardar Hussain Babak and other party leaders were present.

Asfandyar said that Wali Khan opposed the military action in East-Pakistan, “but the populist leaders and media branded him traitor, however later events proved him right and we lost half the country.”

He called for exposing the historical facts regarding separation of East Pakistan and formation of Bangladesh by making Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report public.

Regarding another historic debacle of far reaching effects, Asfandyar said that Bacha Khan and Wali Khan called Afghan Jihad a fassad (conflict), they were accused of treason today everyone accepts that it was a war between the then Soviet Union and the US .

It has been 40 years and Pashtuns have shed more blood than World War II but peace remains elusive

He said that positive news for peace building are coming since one week, but Afghan government needs to be included for peace in the region.

“We want peace between Pakistan and Afghanistan, as long as there is peace in the merged tribal areas of ex-Fata, there will be peace in both countries,” the ANP chief said.

He said that tribal areas merger has taken place but no law is imposed there. “There are no whereabouts of the missing persons,” Asfandyar said.

Regarding the alleged harassment of a family by two security personnel in the Khaisor village of North Waziristan he said it was a shameful incident.

Calling for upholding the rule of law, Asfandyar said that if right decision was made on Naqeebullah’s extrajudicial killing the incident of killing of a family in Sahiwal by CTD personnel would not have taken place.

He regretted that the leaders of the country and the government have failed to learn from history and always try to protect the excesses of the high and mighty. “Today efforts to brush the Sahiwal incident under carpet are being made.”

He said that people had a lot of hopes from Imran Khan, he could do nothing, how many debts the ones accusing others of debts took must be told, efforts to end the financial authority of provinces are being made.

Imran does not have majority in National Assembly and Senate and is sailing in others’ boat. Captain wants to make nation billionaire on chickens and sewing machines, the height of seriousness is such that three budgets have been presented. The PM does not know anything of inflation, it will be good when masses take to streets against inflation and protest outside PTI party offices. He said that PTI has eliminated subtlety from politics, whoever abuses the most is Captain’s favorite, accountability is done transgressing loyalties and party, thieves are sitting in his own cabinet but only opposition is being held accountable.

Pervaiz Khattak, Asad Qaiser, and Jahangir Tareen have been accused of embezzling public money, but remain untouchable.

Asfandyar said that the Supreme Court talked about illegal status of Imran’s Bani Gala residence then lasting silence persists. When anti-encroachment drive is going on in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi then why don’t they raze Bani Gala? Aleema Khan made properties in Dubai and the US while Prime Minister Imran himself says that he was unable to get medical treatment for mother due to lack of funds and she died because of this then how come they made Rs8 billion property in Dubai? “we are in the opposition so that we can put the government on right track, for this government we need not to do anything, it will fall on its own weight.”

Asfandyar said that whole country used to call Wali Khan father of democracy because he came out against dictatorship before anyone else and he never bowed down before any dictator.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2019.


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