ANP suspends Afrasiab, Bushra from party
PESHAWAR: Terming unsatisfactory the reply to the show-cause notice issued to senior party leaders Afrasiab Khattak and Bushra Gohar, the Awami National Party (ANP) on Monday suspended their basic membership.
ANP central general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain issued the notification suspending the basic party membership of former Senator Afrasiab Khattak and the party’s Senior Vice-President Bushra Gohar, a former MNA, for their “anti-party activities.”
ANP central Joint Secretary Jamila Gilani, also a former lawmaker, resigned from her position in protest over the suspension of the membership of the two leaders. She told The News that she had resigned from her party position in protest.
The party’s notification said that the activities of the suspended ANP members were creating confusion and chaos among party workers, leading to indiscipline and damaging ANP’s interests.
“Afrasiab Khattak and Bushra Gohar have submitted a detailed reply to the show-cause notice in which both clarified the points they had raised in the central council meeting and have been raising at the party forums and consultative meetings on several occasions,” it added. It said the duo had asked the party to identify the issues that had resulted in the issuance of the show-cause notice to them.
The notification said the points they had been raising were clarified by the ANP leadership and they had been cautioned against violation of the party discipline but they continued their activities through the social media. Their activities were causing chaos among the workers, it claimed.
“The party is not satisfied with their replies, therefore, ANP president used his authority mentioned on Page-11, Chapter-VIII, Article-II in the party constitution and suspended their membership,” it said.
In her reply to the show-cause notice, Bushra Gohar had said that the notice did not provide pertinent references to the alleged activities against the party’s interests, policy and discipline. She pointed out that it did not mention constitutional clauses under which the notice had been issued.
“Considering that the party’s central president was on an official visit to Russia at the time the notice was issued, I humbly seek clarity on the constitutionality of the directives issued from outside the country and in the presence of the acting central president of the party,” she stated in her reply.
“I would also like to understand why such a serious issue was not taken up as a priority agenda in the recent Central Council and Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Council meetings held in October 2018,” her reply added.
She said in her reply that the vagueness of the notice has given rise to speculations and doubts about the transparency of decision making within the party at the highest level and caused confusion among the party’s rank and file.
Bushra Gohar had listed some of the issues that she had focused on her in her official and personal capacity and asked the party to identify which one had been the cause of the show-cause notice issued to them.
The issues she had identified included democracy and human rights, particularly justice and constitutional rights of the Pashtuns, other oppressed nations and vulnerable groups living in the country.
Other issues highlighted by her are were equal right to education, health and livelihoods, erstwhile Fata’s merger and giving its people fundamental rights, demilitarisation of state and society, campaign against Talibanisation and religious extremism; regional peace and freedom of movement and development.
“In the absence of a charge-sheet and/or relevant details of the alleged activities, I am genuinely at a loss to give a satisfactory response to the notice issued to me on the directives of the party central president,” her reply stated.
She had asked the party to convene Central Council or Central Executive Committee’s meeting on party president’s return to the country to discuss the “unspecified allegations” against her. When approached for seeking his comments, Afrasiab Khattak said he cannot talk as he was visiting a hospital.
Political observers believe the suspension of the two leaders was due to their support for Pashtun Tahafuz Movement. Mohsin Dawar, Member National Assembly from North Waziristan and PTM leader also tweeted, “So finally ANP suspends the basic membership of Afrasiab and Bushra Gohar for unknown reasons.”Mohsin Dawar too had faced expulsion from the ANP some months ago.