PESHAWAR: “This isn’t the time for Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri to protest. This is the time to stand with the IDPs and help them,” said Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P) former chief minister Amir Haider Hoti at the Express Forum on Sunday.
This is the time to support the troops, said Hoti. “When we were in government, we focused on tackling terrorism,” said the Awami National Party leader
“Other parties learnt from mistakes made in the 90s but Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf does not show the same political maturity,” said Hoti, “which is why the Jamaat-e-Islami is now pulling away from the PTI.”
The former CM said it was odd that the PTI was talking about rigging in Punjab but threatening to dissolve the K-P Assembly. “Why did Imran change his mind a year after he accepted the election results at first and praised the judiciary for its work?” questioned Hoti. “Imran is looking for a shortcut but there are no shortcuts in politics.”
Hoti went on to say that if the provincial government were dissolved, it would be an “insult” to the mandate given by the people of K-P to the PTI. However, he said, the central government was overreacting about the August 14 protest planned by PTI at D-Chowk in Islamabad. “They should not make it a huge issue and should allow the PTI to protest as it is their legal right.”
New vs Old
Criticising the performance of the provincial government, Hoti said no change had been observed in the first year of PTI’s governance.
“Development funds worth billions have lapsed,” he said. The formation of the forward bloc in the party shows the lack of trust amongst party members, added Hoti.
PTI had said it would hold local government elections within 90 days of forming the government but the polls are still pending a year on, added Hoti. “We will not only take part in the local government polls from the tripartite platform of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and Pakistan Peoples Party but will also take other parties on board as well.”
Moving on to differences within the ANP, Hoti said the party was united under the leadership of Asfandyar Wali Khan. “There is another party named ANP-W and, many of those in this new party have been removed from the ANP.”
This is not the first time such differences have emerged, said Hoti, “It also happened during the life of Bacha Khan and Wali Khan when people showed up saying they were the real ones or heirs to the nationalist movement.”
Time has proven who the real survivors were, said the former CM.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2014.