The Awami National Party (ANP) is considering pulling out of the ruling alliance both at the centre and in Sindh to protest against the government decision to revive the local bodies’ system, the party’s spokesperson Senator Zahid Khan said on Monday.
“Yes, this is one of our options…we don’t want (to do) it but will have to take the extreme step if our demands are not met or (if) somebody else is given preference over us,” the party’s spokesperson told journalists at the Parliament House.
But, Senator Zahid Khan said, the final decision on whether to remain an ally of Pakistan Peoples Party-led (PPP) coalition government or not would be taken by the party’s central executive committee (CEC) in a couple of days.
Zahid was talking to media after a meeting of the party’s parliamentarians in the National Assembly.
The ANP had rejected the Sindh government announcement to revive the local bodies’ system on Sunday evening, a move which was also criticised by nationalist parties in Sindh.
ANP Sindh’s leadership said that the decision would pit various ethnic communities against each other. The ANP stopped its only provincial minister from officiating in an early sign of the party considering coming out of the alliance with the PPP after almost three-and-a-half-years.
Zahid Khan said the party’s federal parliamentarians supported demand by its Sindh chapter for reviving the commissionarate system led by bureaucracy.
Khan added the ANP would consider PPP responsible for all the bloodshed in Karachi in the wake of its earlier decision of replacing the local government system with the commissionerate one.
He did not say when the CEC of the ANP was going to meet to take a final decision.
But some insiders said there wasn’t any possibility of such a meeting taking place any time soon because ANP chief Asfandyar Khan Wali was either out of Pakistan or planning to travel and might not be coming back.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2011.