People with little knowledge must have been taken aback to learn that the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had actually proposed the name of the old National Awami Party leader (presently known as ANP Awami National Party) Asfandyar Wali Khan for the post of President of Pakistan. The leaders of ANP didnt lose any time affirming the correctness of the leak. Thanks to the courageous effort of Mr Julian Assange, that the general public came to know what was in the mind of the most powerful man in Pakistan. Once a secret now is common knowledge and is a hot topic for discussion in many sitting rooms of Lahore, the political hub of Punjab. People of Punjab, in particular, had a mindset, quite different to the people of remaining provinces of Pakistan, about NAP and its extension ANP. NAP of Baacha khan and later, Wali Khan and Nasim Wali Khan were perceived to be against the independence of Pakistan in 1947. A large section of the NAP voted against the independence, because of the movement led by NAP leadership against Muslim League of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Thereafter when Pakistan came into being, NAP was seen as friends of all those neighboring countries who were hostile to Pakistan for one reason or the other: Like Afghanistan, India and the USSR. NAP may have many good or bad reasons to have a policy of appeasement towards Nehrus Congress-ruled India, Communist ruled- Russia or King Zahir Shahs dynastic ruled-Afghanistan who voted against Pakistan gaining entry into UNO, the hard fact remained that Pakistans establishment (read Punjab dominated establishment) did not see eye to eye with leaders of NAP. The persistent overtures of NAP to befriend these three countries raised many an eye brow all over, including the Pak army, specially as far as India was concerned. As the policy of NAP moved on in this direction long after independence, public opinion in Punjab also hardened against NAP specially after the 1965 and 1971 wars with India and Russians coming in aid of India. The big hammer fell on NAP when many stalwarts of the party were tried for treason by a tribunal at Hyderabad after they tendered resignation to the Federal government led by Mr. Bhutto. In consequence, even the Sindhi people joined the anti NAP bandwagon. Another big blow which diminished the national character of the NAP came with the advent of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Friends of the NAP had come to destroy Afghanistan, the land of the Pushtuns. NAP had lost both the friends (Afghans and Russians) and their own nation. Therefore it was all the way down for the National Awami Party. They lost their hold on Balochistan and became confined to NWFP and later just confined to a few districts of NWFP. After the demise of Bacha Khan (Abdul Ghaffar Khan) and Abdul Wali Khan, Begum Nasim Wali Khan took a back seat in active politics, and made room for Asfandyar Wali Khan to run the party. ANPs performance in 2002 election was poor and the party chose to act in line with new ground realities. The new leadership of ANP had a change of heart and started to befriend the Americans, who also needed as many friends as possible in the bordering areas of Afghanistan. Asfandyar built bridges with Ms Benazir Bhutto, the Pak-Army and the Americans. As 1979 had destroyed NAP, 9/11 became the major cause of its ascendancy to power and money as early as in 2006 onwards. Remember Asfandyar Wali Khan was a state guest in the US in 2006. Then came the general election of 2008 and the office of the President of Pakistan fell vacant in Aug 2008. Please now make a fair guess Where is the Compromise? ISHAQ KHAN KHAKWANI, Former Minister of State, December 9.