PESHAWAR  - Former senior leader of Awami National Party Senator Azam Khan Hoti has alleged that party’s top leadership sold Pakhtuns’ blood to the US during their rule in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The allegation was rejected by the ANP.

During a news conference in Peshawar, Azam Hoti alleged that Asfandyar Wali Khan and Afrasiab Khattak took approximately $35 million from the United States as part of a secret agreement.

Before the last general elections in 2008, the two ANP leaders had disappeared for ten days in the US and their mobile phones remained switched off during that time, Hoti claimed.

He alleged that a former member of national assembly and Pakistani-born US citizen Nasimur Rehman helped finalise the agreement between American authorities and Asfandyar Wali.

“Nasim first held a meeting with Asfandyar and then met with Begum Naseem Wali,” he said, adding that a cheque was also handed over to Afrasiab Khattak which belonged to an account of a bank of an Arab country. The secret deal was made to safeguard interests of the US at the expanse of Pakhtuns’ blood, in Pakhtuns dominated areas, he further alleged.

Azam Hoti, who is father of the former KP chief minister Ameer Haider Hoti and brother-in-law of Asfandyar, said he had no proof for these allegations but he was tabling these facts keeping the “ground realities” into consideration. He said that normally such pacts do not have any official or written record.

Senator Hoti said that in the meanwhile MNA Nasimur Rahman had also met him along with a Pakistani origin US citizen, who informed about the meeting in the US. He said he was told that the deal was also linked to Taliban and a Gulf State had also been played a role in it.

“On return from America, a meeting of party’s think tanks had been convened in which party leaders were apprised of their visit and matters pertaining to the security, development and prosperity of Pakhtuns living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata were discussed,” he said.

They (Asfand and Afrasyab) termed the visit quite successful. But soon after that meeting both the persons disappeared from the political scene for some time and then kept mum over the vital security issue, Hoti added. He alleged that Asfandyar was responsible for the killing of over 800 innocent party workers.

Referring to a statement of ANP senior leader Ghulam Bilour, he said, these people try to paint such important political issues as family disputes and personal enmities to mislead the public. When asked about the possible involvement of former KPK CM Haider Hoti in this deal, he said that his son was kept uninformed about it.

ANP central spokesman Senator Zahid Khan expressed deep concern over the baseless statement of Azam Khan Hoti and said that a unanimous stance of the party would be presented to media in few days. However, he said that conspiracies had always been hatched against the ANP and it was not a new thing in that sense. He questioned why Hoti did not issue such allegations during the party’s five years of rule.

Rejecting the allegations, ANP Provincial Spokesman Malik Ghulam Mustafa said that Senator Hoti has no evidence against ANP leadership. He said after expulsion from the party, he is now issuing baseless statements to misguide the people. He said Azam Hoti has levelled a serious allegation and he must prove it now.

Talking to The Nation, he said that Hoti cannot create rift in the party ranks through such statements and there is no worker of ANP to support him in this conspiracy. He said Pakhtuns are united under the leadership of Asfandyar Wali Khan.

He maintained that after getting advantages Hoti has now started a propaganda campaign against the party leadership. He argued that if he was a trustworthy person, why his son is against him and supporting Asfandyar. He said that ANP chief did not felt any need to take Azam Hoti’s allegations as serious.