Wednesday April 24, 2024

Upholding its tradition: ANP concedes defeat, congratulates winners

By Khalid Kheshgi
February 11, 2024

PESHAWAR: Upholding its tradition of showing political maturity, the Awami National Party (ANP) has conceded its defeat in the election gracefully and congratulated the winning candidates.

Awami National Party supporters during a party rally in KP on January 25, 2024. — Facebook/ANP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Awami National Party supporters during a party rally in KP on January 25, 2024. — Facebook/ANP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

In his message to party workers, local organisations and party candidates, ANP President Asfandyar Wali Khan said his party would continue striving for the restoration of peace, getting provincial rights and promoting democracy and upholding the rule of law. “I appreciate the party workers and organisations campaigning for ANP candidates in the province,” the ANP leader said.

He said the ANP believed in continued political struggle. He said the ANP workers spared no effort during the election campaign to convey the party’s manifesto to the people.

“We have not lost hope and will continue promoting the politics of tolerance,” said Asfandyar Wali, who did not contest the polls due to his illness.

The ANP could secure only one provincial assembly seat from Peshawar in the polls as its candidates including senior leader Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Ameer Haider Khan Hoti and Aimal Wali Khan lost to rival candidates.

Conceding defeat in one National Assembly and one provincial assembly seat in his hometown Mardan, Haider Hoti announced his resignation from party office.

In a video message, he said that he would continue working as a worker of the party. Congratulating the winners, the ANP leader said the people gave mandate to the PTI-backed candidates.

“We accept our defeat and respect the mandate the people have given to the PTI-backed candidates,” he said.

ANP provincial spokesperson Samar Haroon Bilour, who also lost to the PTI-backed candidate on PK-83 Peshawar, visited the winning candidate’s residence along with her son on Friday. She presented a bouquet to Meena Khan Afridi for winning the election. Samar Haroon had won from this constituency in 2018 by-polls when her husband Haroon Ahmad Bilour was killed along with other party workers in suicide attack.

In 2024 polls, she remained the runner-up for PK-83 Peshawar and received more than 23,000 votes.

ANP General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain in his video message congratulated his rival candidate Ashfaq Ahmad Khan. However, he added that he would have been upset if Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-Parliamentarians chief Pervez Khattak had won the election.

The ANP leader accused the PTI-P chief of using money, government machinery and other unfair means during the election campaign in Nowshera.

It may be recalled that ANP late Begum Nasim Wali and her son Asfandyar Wali had wholeheartedly accepted their defeat in the 2002 general election when Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal swept the election in the province.

At that time Begum Nasim Wali was provincial president of the ANP while her son Asfandyar Wali was central president of the party. They had both visited the Peshawar Press Club to announce their resignation from their respective party offices.

Similarly, senior leader of ANP Ghulam Bilour twice lost to the PTI candidates in 2013 and 2018 general elections. On both occasions, he accepted defeat and congratulated his rival candidates.

In the February 8 general election, he once again lost to PTI-backed independent candidate Asif Khan in NA-32 Peshawar by a big margin.

ANP heavyweight late Abdul Wali Khan had retired from electoral politics when he lost to known religious scholar Maulana Hassan Jan in 1990 general election.