PESHAWAR - Awami National Party President Asfandyar Wali Khan on Sunday alleged that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif put the important issue of mainstreaming tribal areas in cold-storage to please two persons, who according to him, were against giving rights to the tribesmen.

He said this while speaking at a launching ceremony of a book written on late Pakhtun nationalist leader Afzal Khan Lala, commonly known as Khan Lala, on his life and his political struggle. The ceremony was held at Bacha Khan Markaz, the ANP central headquarters in Peshawar.

Without mentioning their names, but apparently referring to Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Mehmood Khan Achakzai, he said that time had come to bring Fata into the mainstream by making it part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province without further delay.

“We haven’t and wouldn’t accept the line draw by the British to divide Pakhtuns” he said, adding that Pakhtuns were being denied fundamental rights due to which sense of unrest and deprivation was increasing among them.

Prominent among others who were also present on the occasion included ANP senior leader and MNA Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, ANP provincial chief Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain and others.

The ANP President stressed the need for introducing reforms in Fata and abolishing Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) at the earliest said that tribal areas should be merged with KP in accordance with aspirations of the tribal people.

He stressed the need for collective efforts to restore peace and stability in the country. Asfandyar Wali Khan lauded the role of former Federal Minister and ANP leader late Afzal Khan Lala for democracy and resisting terrorists in Swat.

After the conclusion of Panama issue, he said that the federal government should focus its energies towards its priorities. Talking about Ayesha Gulalia issue, he said that it would be better to remain silent until the report of the probing committee.

About Afzal Khan Lala, he said that it was he who never compromised on his principled stand and ever raised voice for the rights of Pakhtunkhwa and talked about always about their unity. His role would be remembered for long time, he added.

QWP TO SAFEGUARD PAKHTUNS’ RIGHTS: SHERPAO

Chairman Qaumi Watan Party Aftab Ahmad Sherpao said on Saturday that the QWP would leave no stone unturned for rights of Pakhuns and the party would utilise its energies for peace and stability in the region.

He was addressing a party executive committee meeting at Watan Kor, Peshawar wherein QWP KP Chairman Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao, General Secretary Hashim Khan Babar, zones and districts chairmen and general secretaries were also present.

Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao said that Pakhtuns rendered sacrifices for the cause of Pakistan but they had not been given the reward. He said that the aim of the QWP was to serve Pakhtuns’ rights, whether the party is in power or opposition. He added that the only objective of the QWP was the welfare of Pakhtuns and it would struggle for the cause.

He said that the QWP was staunch supporter of democracy and it longed for completion of the constitutional tenure of the Parliament. He contended that strengthening of democratic institutions would be instrumental in political stability and financial prosperity.

He regretted due to Panama issue that the longstanding issues of Pakhtuns had been put on the back burner, which, he said intensified their sense of deprivation. He said that issues such as load-shedding, merger of Fata-KP, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, rehabilitation of the TDPs had been ignored which aggravated their conditions.

He impressed upon the leadership and workers to strengthen bond with the masses and revitalise activates and spread among the masses for addressing the problems of Pukhtuns and peace and stability in the region. The meeting reviewed the current political situation, organisational matters and chalk out strategies for future course of action.

The meeting reposed full confidence in the leadership of Aftab Ahmad Sherpao and Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao. It endorsed the policies of Aftab Sherpao and hailed his role for Pakhtuns and party. It was emphasised that Panama issue would raise no more political confrontations and Supreme Court verdict on the Panama case, it would help bring an end to the prevailing deadlock.