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December 30, 2017

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Imran wants ‘ATM’ in but Nawaz out: Asfandyar

CHARSADDA: Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan has said the PTI chief Imran Khan wanted to remove Nawaz Sharif as the PML-N president but is not willing to accept the Supreme Court's decision that has disqualified his ATM in the assets concealment case — a reference to Jehangir Tareen.

He was speaking at the ANP workers convention held on Friday at the Municipal Park here. Criticising Imran for expressing reservations about the disqualification of Jehangir Khan Tareen by the Supreme Court, Asfandyar said Imran has double standards.

He said Imran Khan accused his political opponents of committing corruption but is ignoring the corrupt practices of his own party led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. The PTI chief, he added, has gathered corrupt people around him.

Asfandyar alleged that Imran Khan has removed the former director general of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission to save Chief Minister Pervez Khattak in corruption cases. He reminded that the PTI's own ministers and lawmakers are levelling serious corruption allegations against Pervez Khattak but Imran Khan has ignored them.

The ANP chief said that on the one hand Imran Khan criticised his political opponents and accused them of corruption but on the other he is welcoming defectors from those parties by offering them party tickets for the next general election.

He accused the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and former prime ministerNawaz Sharif of reneging on the pledge made with the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. "It is the worst government in the history of the country, as it has no parallel in breaking promises and telling lies," he stressed.

He said the PML-N-led federal government has deprived most of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and all the tribal areas of the CPEC projects. He said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be deprived of its share in the multi-billion-dollar economic project.

Reacting to the likely revival of the alliance of six religio-political parties, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), Asfandyar Wali said Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl remained an ally of the PML-N in the federal government, while Jamaat-e-Islam (JI) is the partner of the PTI in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for the last four and a half years and both have enjoyed power, but are now trying to hoodwink people in the name of religion by reviving the MMA.

"Who stopped the two parties from enforcement of Islamic rule in the country during the past four and a half years that they are now reviving the MMA?" he asked. He said chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) Maulana Samiul Haq considers secular political parties better than MMA, and he stayed out of the so-called Islamic alliance and has joined hands with the PTI. "This issue warrants serious thinking," he said.

He urged China to mediate between Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to defuse tension between the two neighbours. He said the relations between the two countries could not be normalised and terrorism eliminated until China became a guarantor of an understanding between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said peace in the two countries is interlinked and stability of the whole region would remain at risk until restoration of peace in Afghanistan.

The ANP chief criticised US President Donald Trump's new policy for Afghanistan and his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He said such policies would further aggravate the situation in Afghanistan and escalate tension in the Middle East. He said the decision of recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has hurt the feelings of Muslims around the globe.

Asfandyar lamented that the Americans have elected an "imprudent and crazy" man as president who only believes in pursuing the policy of aggression. "ANP considers the election of Donald Trump as president of the US, a divine justice to punish the Americans for shedding the blood of innocent Pakhtuns," he maintained.

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