Qaumi Watan Party Chairman Aftab Ahmed Sherpao drew attention to the “tactics” adopted by the Centre to deprive Pukhtuns of their rights at QWP’s third foundation day. The event was held at Sarhad Gardens on Eid Gah Road in the city on Saturday. He said the Pukhtun population had already suffered enough in the war against terrorism.
He added QWP would not compromise on the rights of Pukhtuns and would raise slogans on every platform to ensure provincial rights and autonomy.
Resisting planned conspiracy
“The construction of Kalabagh Dam was deliberately raised by the government to avoid discussion on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s eastern route,” said Sherpao. He said the Kalabagh issue should remain dead in the water; instead the government should allocate funds for Munda Dam.
Read: Buying time: Sherpao dismisses attempt to build Kalabagh Dam
He said the western route should be constructed according to the original CPEC plan. “Even Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leadership admitted the original plan focuses on the western route at the all parties conference in Islamabad and government’s violation shows its interest in working for the benefit of one province,” Sherpao added.
He said if the government constructs the eastern route, it will become extremely obvious it wishes to further prevent K-P and Balochistan from benefiting from their resources. “The Centre should take the interests of all provinces into account, otherwise, QWP and parties from other provinces will not support it in its biased ventures,” Sherpao warned.
He demanded the government make an elected representative from K-P head of the CPEC committee.
Talking about Pak-Afghan ties, Sherpao said the current impasse between Pakistan and Afghanistan was “dangerous and destabilising” for the region. “Continued turmoil in Kabul is not in our favour and we must do whatever we can to reduce violence there,” he said.
He urged the federal government to consult Pukhtuns before formulating any policy for Afghanistan. “The region cannot afford further bloodshed,” he said.
Tying all loose strings
“Pukhtuns of K-P, Fata and northern Balochistan must live in one province,” said Sherpao. “The merger of Fata in K-P will be the first step to make the federation stronger and help mitigate long-standing issues and problems being faced by tribespeople since independence.”
Sherpao demanded the governments implement the National Action Plan, facilitate the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons (IDP) and pay net-hydal profits under AGN-Qazi formula to end rampant power outages and over-billing in K-P. The party unanimously passed nine resolutions, demanding better relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, elimination of terrorism, implementation of original plan of CPEC and an alliance with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
“The militancy-hit and insurgency-torn province will surmount all obstacles created by the federal government in its struggle for economic development and stability,” he added. QWP Provincial Chairman Sikandar Khan Sherpao, Central Vice Chariman Abdul Malik Khan, Central Secretary General Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli, senior leaders Haji Ghufran and Advocate Salim were also present on the occasion.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2015.