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National

April 3, 2018

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Asfandyar wants unnecessary check-posts abolished

CHARSADDA: Demanding abolition of unnecessary checkposts, Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali Khan on Monday said that an All Parties Conference (APC) would be convened to discuss the problems and challenges confronting the Pakhtuns.

Addressing the think-tank of ANP at Wali Bagh village, he said that constitutional and legal efforts would continue to be made for resolving the problems being faced by Pakhtuns. Expressing concern over the delay in merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said the delay would create more problems in future. He demanded allocation of seats in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly for Fata ahead of the next general election.

"Fata should also be given representation in the provincial cabinet to address their sense of deprivation," the ANP chief said. "Fata has been affected by militancy and it should get a comprehensive financial package for development," he added. Pointing out that the blasts caused by landmines in Fata had taken scores of precious lives, Asfandyar Wali demanded removal of the mines to ensure safety of the tribespeople. He also demanded the "Shaheed package" for the martyred victims of terrorism and landmines. "The security checkposts have also been causing mental agony among the people of the affected areas," he said, adding, unnecessary checkposts should be abolished while the practice of weekly curfew in some areas ought to be ended.

The ANP leader said that practical steps should be taken for putting an end to target killings and the culprits involved in the extrajudicial killings of Naqeebullah Mahsud and other innocent people should be brought to justice. "The ANP will not tolerate negligence in the rehabilitation of Pakhtuns displaced due to terrorism," he said. He also demanded rehabilitation of the businesses in the affected areas.

Asfandyar Wali said that any move to roll back the 18th Constitutional Amendment would have disastrous consequences for the country. He vowed to go to any length for keeping the 18th Amendment intact. "ANP has rendered enormous sacrifices for the rights of the provinces and would not hesitate to go to any extreme for protection of these rights," he pledged.

He regretted that the rights of the Pakhtuns had not been taken care of in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) despite assurances by the Chinese ambassador. In his talk to the party's think-tank, he directed the ANP organizational units to start preparations for the next general election.

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