‘Cannot Afford Another Phase of Terrorism’: ANP Leaders Raise Concern On Growing Incidents of Terrorism, ...

  • ANP Leader Amir Haider Hoti said the public and security institutions were facing serious threats

  • Government-dictated electoral reforms unacceptable, say ANP leaders

  • Move to establish PMDA criticized

The Awami National Party (ANP) has expressed concern over the alleged regrouping of terrorist organisations and the rise in incidents of extortion and targeted killings across the country.

Speaking at a press conference after a meeting of the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Wednesday, ANP leaders also called for adopting a policy of non-interference in Afghanistan.

ANP’s senior vice president Amir Haider Hoti urged the government to adopt a clear policy after taking the parliament into confidence. “The country cannot afford another phase of terrorism,” he said.

Hoti said security institutions, police and the general public were facing a serious threat of terrorism and target killings. “The people have once again started receiving telephone calls demanding extortions all over the country, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan,” he said.

Hoti said the ANP did not have any favorites in Afghanistan. “The ANP only wants peace in the neighborhood. The people of Afghanistan should decide their own future. No other country has the right to make decisions about the future of the people of Afghanistan,” he said.

The ANP leader added that there was a need to save Afghanistan from further ethnic divisions. He said the situation could worsen if Afghanistan remained divided along ethnic lines.

“War is not a solution to any problem, issues in Afghanistan can only be resolved through talks,” he said.

Hoti also commented on the electoral reforms proposed by the government. “Electoral reforms are needed to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the country, but government-dictated reforms unacceptable.”

Hoti urged the government to respond to the objections raised by the ECP on electronic voting machines (EVMs) and condemned the attitude of certain federal ministers towards the ECP.

“It is the right and responsibility of the ECP to raise objections on the use of EVMs,” he said.

The ANP leader also criticized the government’s move to establish the PMDA. “Efforts are being made to control the media under the pretense of checking fake news,” he said.

ANP’s information secretary Zahid Khan and senior party leader Mian Iftikhar Hussain also accompanied Hoti during the news conference.

ANP’s leadership called the CEC meeting to discuss the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover last month and its implications for Pakistan. They also discussed the political situation in the country, particularly the government’s recent tussle against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the proposed setting up of the controversial Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA).