PESHAWAR - Inviting Taliban for table talks, Awami National Party (ANP) on Saturday said its history was replete with sacrifices and it would continue sacrificing in future to protect the constitution and country.

Paying rich tributes to the slain ANP leader Bashir Ahmad Bilour, the party central and provincial leaders vowed to accomplish his mission. They said they would not deter their determination by any terrorist act, as they would give more sacrifices for establishment of peace in the country.

The central and provincial leadership of ANP said at the Chehlum of assassinated ANP leader Bashir Ahmad Bilour at Nishtar Hall. Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, also elder brother of Bashir Ahmad Bilour, said that they wanted talks with Taliban. “I am inviting Taliban to come on negotiation table.”

He said that ANP leaders and workers paid matchless sacrifices for their motherland and survival of the country. He said they wanted to rid the region of the menace of terrorism and extremism and asked Taliban to stop killing of innocent people.

Ghulam Bilour questioned as to why the Pakhtuns were being killed, saying that Pakhtuns believed in non-violence philosophy of Bacha Khan. He said that cruelty with the ANP should be stopped. He said that the ANP’s history was full of sacrifices and it would continue rendering sacrifices for protection of the constitution and country.

He said that Mufti Mehmood, Maulana Abdul Haq, Maulana Noorani and Jamaat-e-Islami had signed the constitution. He asked were the Taliban better Muslims than them? “We will continue defending the constitution of Pakistan,” he said. He said that the ANP would take revenge of Bashir Bilour assassination by achieving majority in the upcoming general elections.

He alleged that almost all the political parties are the products of martial laws. Some parties are the products of Gen Ayub Khan, some are of Gen Zia regime and some are the products of Gen Musharraf martial law.

In his speech, Provincial Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that negotiations with Taliban would be held for peace in the country.  However, he made it clear that no compromise would be made on the country’s sovereignty and integrity.

He asked militants to form reconciliation body to initiate formal talks with them. The ANP, he said, would make contact with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani and President Asif Ali Zardari to apprise them of the ANP anti-terrorism stance.

Mian Iftikhar said that ANP has decided to hold All Parties Conference (APC) on terrorism, and would invite all political parties to participate in this moot, solely for peace and against the terrorism.

He said the entire nation was expressed great sorrow and grief over the death ANP senior leader Bashir Bilour, because he was a brave and steadfast leader, who always raised voice for downtrodden people in the society.

He vowed that they would give more sacrifices to accomplish the Bilour mission.

ANP provincial leader said the Bilour gave his live for peace and survival of his motherland, and sacrifices of ANP leaders and workers will not go waste. He said the followers of Bacha Khan had never bow before the colonial power and fought against them.

ANP provincial president, Senator Afrasiab Khattak said that his party would continue fight till the elimination of last terrorist. He said that elections would be held in due time in the country.

Besides others, ANP’s central secretary information, Senator Zahid Khan, Senator Haji Adeel, elder son of Bashir Bilour, and Adviser to KPK Chief Minister, Haroon Bilour, Speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Kiramtullah Chargamati, party provincial leaders and activists and others also spoke to the gathering.