PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party (ANP) has said the ‘prime minister’s selectors’ should understand that Pakistan and PM Imran Khan can not go together to demand free and fair elections in the region.
“No doubt, [PM] Imran was a good cricketer, but he’s not a good ruler,” ANP senior vice-president Ameer Haider Khan Hoti said at a rally here on Saturday to mark the death anniversary of freedom fighter Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and party member Khan Abdul Wali Khan.
Criticizing the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led federal government’s internal and external policies, the ANP leader said the ‘chosen prime minister’ had borrowed record loans from foreign agencies, but even after that, the economy of the country was in poor shape.
“The economy is ruined,” he said.
Mr. Hoti said that a friendly nation had impounded Pakistan’s flag carrier aircraft for non-payment, while a ban on PIA flights had been imposed by European countries.
He also said that high inflation has adversely impacted average citizens and business societies.
Party leader Hoti demands free, fair polls in country
As a result of the inexperienced policies of the sitting rulers, the ANP chief said the nation had lost its time-tested mates.
He said Premier Imran Khan had accepted his agents’ misappropriation of PTI’s international funding.
I’m asking [PM Imran’s] selectors that his selection was incorrect because he struggled to perform badly,” he said, adding that only free and fair elections could steer the nation out of the current political and economic crisis.”
He said Pakistan should be rescued by the ‘selectors’ and not PM Imran.
Expressing concern about the country’s prevailing law and order situation, especially forced disappearances and target killings in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, Mr Hoti said that his party will continue to protest Pakhtuns’ abductions and forced disappearances.
He said that ANP Secretary of Information Assad Khan had gone missing in Balochistan.
The chief of the ANP said the party would send a written petition against the disappearance of its office-bearer to the Balochistan High Court and would use political channels to ensure its secure recovery.
Paying rich tribute to the struggle of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Khan Abdul Wali Khan, he said that about 100 years ago, Ghaffar Khan, popularly known as Bacha Khan, began a struggle for the rights of the oppressed Pakhtun people.
Mr Hoti said that Pakhtuns were stripped of their constitutional rights and the right to vote by British rulers.
He said that not only did Bacha Khan struggle for the rights of the Pakhtun people, he also generated social and political awareness through the establishment of schools.
Bacha Khan was also lauded by the ANP chief for his ideology of discouraging violence in society.
Like Bacha Khan, he said, Wali Khan also made serious efforts to ensure the supremacy of the Constitution and consolidate the country’s democracy.
Mr Hoti said the country would not have the 1973 Constitution if it was not signed by Wali Khan while he was the opposition leader.
Both Bacha Khan and Wali Khan were branded traitors and agents of Russia and India despite rendering great services to the nation and government,” he said.”
ANP Secretary-General Mian Iftikhar Hussain has urged newly elected US President Joe Biden to concentrate on maintaining talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
He said it would further destroy Afghanistan if peace talks failed.
Pakistan was also encouraged by the ANP chief to play a sincere role in making the peace process a success.
He said stability in Pakistan will remain impossible until peace was restored in Afghanistan.
ANP Provincial President Aimal Wali Khan called for a Truth Commission to be established to investigate the war on terrorism and to address accountability.
He also called on the federal government to open all Afghan trading points and take measures to encourage traders.
Mr. Aimal asked that internally displaced persons be returned to their homes in the combined tribal districts, that destroyed properties be rehabilitated, and that all missing persons be retrieved.
He said the socio-economic conditions of the people in tribal districts had not changed even after the passage of the 25th Constitutional Amendment.