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August 6, 2018

Poor performance in general elections: Pakhtun think-tank wants nationalists to conduct analysis

National

August 6, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Pakhtun Think-Tank on Sunday suggested to the nationalist parties to conduct an analysis of their poor performance in the general election and come up with a new strategy.

The think-tank deliberated on the political, economic and social issues and challenges faced by the Pakhtuns. A former Home secretary Syed Akhtar Ali Shah chaired the meeting. A number of academia, engineers, doctors, advocates and others attended the meeting.

They said that peace and security were the most precious fundamental rights of the citizens and these were necessary for enjoyment of quality of life. However, these rights were denied to the Pakhtuns as they were subjected to the worst kind of violence for the last 30 years. The participants of the meeting complained that the country had been paid millions of dollars as cost of war but hardly any expenditure was being incurred for the economic and human development.

They said that the provincial capital city of Peshawar could be taken as a case study where no new college, health scheme, playground, cultural centre, housing scheme and industrial estate had been built.

The speakers said that no plan was in place to meet the social issues emanating from demographic changes of Peshawar. They said this neglect caused a sense of deprivation and could be a cause of agitation.

They lamented that due to extremist views and overplay of violent non-state actors society has been radicalised. The role of those non-state actors had played havoc with social fabric of the society. The participants of the meeting held that a new paradigm shift at the policy level for peace in the region was required.

They stressed that peace in the region was interlinked with Pakistan and Afghanistan. Therefore both needed to synergize their efforts against violent extremism with zero tolerance towards violent non-state actors of all shades.

The speakers believed that the nationalist and democratic forces were not given a level playing field during and before the election. The meeting also held that among other fragmentation of nationalist forces, absence of clarity on the national issues, weak organisational structure at the street level, challenge of dynamism and inaccessibility of leadership, failure of managing perception were important factors for the defeat in the election. They suggested the nationalist parties to conduct analysis of the poor performance in the general election and come up with a new strategy.