CHARSADDA: Awami National Party (ANP) leader Asfandyar Wali Khan said that it was necessary for the government to accept the latest offer for peace talks from the militants, provided that the militants were willing to put down their weapons and accept the government’s writ.
Speaking in a press conference, he said that the attacks by the Taliban on the Dera Ismail Khan Central Jail reveal that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provincial government had no writ, while militants patrolled the outskirts of Peshawar.
Wali Khan said that if the peace talks were to fail, then the killing of innocent people would never be allowed at the hands of the militants and that he would support a military operation, as the ANP had previously supported military operations in Swat and Malakand.
Political ownership for military operations against militants was necessary, he said.
ANP leader Wali Khan came to his home town Charsadda for Eid-ul-Fitr after five years and spent three days in Wali Bagh where ANP leaders, MNAs, MPAs and party workers met him under tight security.
Wali Khan had left Charsadda for Islamabad in 2008 when he faced a suicide attack on Eid that left his personal guard dead. He did not even come back to cast his vote in the 2013 general elections, in which he was defeated by JUI-F leader MNA Gauhar Shah by a big margin. His stepmother Begum Naseem also criticised him at his defeat for ignoring his home town.
All Party Conference
Wali Khan condemned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan over his stance on the All Party Conference (APC) and said that Imran Khan’s demands were baseless, since the PTI Chairman did not represent Sindh and Balochistan, only KP.
Wali Khan said that acts such as the KP Chief Minister calling militants ‘friends’ and reactions against drone attacks in Waziristan springing up from Peshawar and other parts of KP have led to low morale among law enforcement forces.
Wali Khan also stress the need for a concrete policy for Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO and US troops from Afghanistan in 2014, adding that an absence of such a policy would lead to more bloodshed in the tribal belt.
He said the previous Pakistan Peoples Party government practiced a free foreign policy that had never been dictated by the army.