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June 13, 2018

ANP defends award of ticket to Himayat Mayar


June 13, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party (ANP) has defended the award of ticket to Himayatullah Mayar, who was issued show-cause notice for deviating from the party position on the issue of the lynching of Mashal Khan.

ANP provincial President Ameer Haider Hoti, who is also the former chief minister, had issued the show-cause notice to Himayatullah Mayar to explain his position for deviating from the party line on the issue.

Himayatullah Mayar reportedly apologised to the party leaders for his attitude in the Mashal Khan lynching case.

ANP provincial general secretary Sardar Hussain Babak told The News that Himayatullah Mayar had given an explanation to the party.

“Another point is that we are staunch Muslims and our religion preaches peace,” he added.

Sardar Hussain Babak, who is also secretary of the parliamentary board that had awarded tickets to candidates, said Himayatullah Mayar is an ideological worker of the party and the ANP is proud of him. “We did not award tickets to turncoats as most of the parties did,” he argued.

He said the ANP stance on every issue was clear. “When the entire society gets polluted, nobody can deny the prevalence of religious fanaticism. Also, nobody can deny the fact that ANP is maintaining its moderate liberal position on issues in such fanatic environment,” he maintained.

Sardar Hussain Babak said ANP had endured human and material losses for its stance. He said the allegations against Himayatullah Mayar were baseless and aimed at political point-scoring.

When reminded that the party had issued him him show-cause notice, Sardar Hussain Babak said that when the party felt that someone had violated the party discipline in any form, it could issue notices to a member and it should not be interpreted as his involvement in such cases.

Himayatullah Mayar, who was the district nazim for Mardan, had advised the party workers to avoid commenting on the murder of Mashal Khan, a student of Journalism and Mass Communication Department at the Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan.

Mashal Khan was lynched by a mob of students, employees of the university and some outsiders at the university campus in Mardan on April 13 last year after being accused of committing blasphemy.

The Anti-Terrorism Court had handed death sentence to one accused, life terms to five others while 25 accused were awarded three-year jail terms. However, 26 other accused were acquitted.

Himayatullah Mayar has been given the ANP ticket to contest for the provincial assembly seat, PK-51 Mardan, in the election on July 25.

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