PESHAWAR - Central Chief of Awami National Party Asfandyar Wali Khan warned of stiff opposition to any changes in the Pak-China Economic Corridor route and said that he was willing to be termed a traitor or put in prison over his stance. “When the previous government was inking this agreement, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan were included in this route but after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came into power, the map of the route was diverted toward Punjab,” he said this while addressing a public gathering at Tehmash Stadium Peshawar.

The rally was also attended by ANP central General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Central leader Haji Ghulam Bilour and Provincial President Ameer Haider Khan Hoti.

Asfand said that if Imran Khan termed himself a Pakhtun, he must openly speak against changes in Pak-China Economic Corridor route. He said that his forefathers were also declared traitors when they raised the slogans for the rights of Pakhtuns. ANP chief said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s terming of any opposition to the changes in the economic corridor as enmity towards Pakistan was highly regrettable.

He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa badly suffered in the war against terrorism and now diverting of this route from poverty-stricken provinces is tantamount to their economic devastation.

He said that Pak-China economic corridor is not the name of a single route but this includes a railway track, roads and 48 industrial zones but unfortunately federal government is concealing all facts and figures regarding this important project.

He mentioned that Chinese government intends to develop their backward eastern provinces while on the other hand the federal government is pushing the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan toward more chaos and economic deprivation.

He uttered that Awami National Party will not allow any change in Pak-China Economic Corridor route even he was put into prison. He urged the federal government to treat all the units of federation equally to remove their sense of deprivation. He said that he had also requested Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to link FATA and Malakand with this important route to develop the backward areas of the country.

Regarding local bodies elections, he said that despite the directives of the Election Commission of Pakistan, Imran Khan and Pervez Khattak announced projects in various parts of the province which is an open violation of the code of conduct of the Local Government elections.

He also suggested woman participation in the LG polls and directed the party female workers to participate in the electoral process.

ANP General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain while addressing the gathering accused PTI for pre-poll rigging and said that for the last one month PTI is giving advertisements in the newspapers regarding its performance while they have lapsed huge portion of developmental budget in last two years of government. He said that in last two years PTI could not prove that they have constructed a new school or a new university. Instead, Imran Khan just tied his knot after the protest sit-in in Islamabad.