PISHIN: Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali Khan has announced that after Fata’s merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the ANP would establish a Pashtun province comprising southern and northern Pashtun areas and it would be stronger than Punjab.
Speaking at a public meeting at Taj Lala ground in Pishin, he said: “Everybody should listen that Fata will be part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.” He said that Pashtun nation was passing through a difficult phase as its blood was being shed on a mass scale and in a quantity that was not even shed in world wars. He said that thirst of some world powers had not ended and they wanted to shed more blood of Pashtuns.
The ANP chief criticised ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for not fulfilling a promise he had made to him at the end of the first meeting of CPEC to brief leaders of political parties about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The ANP leader said that after the meeting he had asked the former prime minister to tell him the CPEC project would be a Pakistan Economic Corridor or Punjab Economic Corridor. He said Mr Sharif had promised him that construction of the western route of the CPEC would be the first priority of the government and industrial zones would be set up at Zhob, Qila Saifullah and Kuchlak, but the former PM did not fulfil his promise and denied Pashtuns their share in the CPEC.
Mr Khan said that after winning the 2008 elections, the ANP entered into an alliance with the PPP and under that alliance, the ANP was successful in giving an identity to Pashtuns through renaming of the NWFP province as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Besides, he said, his party also helped the province get financial and other powers through the adoption of the 18th amendment to the Constitution.
He said that nationalists and religious leaders should show to Pashtun nation what they had given to Pashtun soil as allies of Mr Sharif.
Referring to opposition of leaders of some political and religious parties to the merger of Fata with KP, he said he wanted to make it clear to those leaders that Fata would soon be part of KP despite their opposition.
He said that the decision to merge Fata with KP had been taken by the federal cabinet and if Maulana Fazlur Rehman thought it was the agenda of the United States, then why his party did not quit the coalition government of the PML-N. Referring to Pak-Afghan relations, the ANP leader said that peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan was very important and necessary for both countries and that China, instead of playing the role of a facilitator, should come forward as a guarantor of peace between Pakistan and Afghanistan to remove mistrust that existed between the two countries.