Asfandyar vows to implement accord -DAWN - Top Stories; February 21, 2009
By Ashfaq Yusufzai
PESHAWAR, Feb 20: Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan has said he can quit the government but cannot back out of his party’s commitment to get the amended version of Nizam-i-Adl regulation enforced in Malakand region for the sake of lasting peace.
He was talking to journalists in Momin Town where he had gone on Friday to offer condolences to the family of MPA Alamzeb Khan, who was killed in a bomb blast on Feb 11.
He said the people of the Malakand region wanted peace, rehabilitation and restoration of normality in their towns and villages and his party could not compromise on the issue.
“We have the president and prime minister on board for the peace initiative. We… can even quit the government, but will abide by the declaration agreed with Maulana Sufi Mohammad,” he said.
He said the ANP would sincerely take the Swat peace initiative to its logical conclusion.
“The bill regarding the enforcement of the Nizam-i-Adl regulation has not been sent to the president and, therefore, there is no question of it getting signed,” he told a reporter.
“We have to decide our matters in line with our needs. All our decisions reflect our desire to safeguard our interests,” he said.
The ANP chief said his party accorded priority to the wellbeing of Pukhtun people and it was ready to talk to the United States and other countries and Nato and other organisations on their reservations over the agreement.
“We will take decisions in accordance with our own requirements. We are ready to convince the people opposing the move,” he said. He said the initiative would take time but a consensus would be developed.
Asfandyar Wali said Alamzeb Khan had sacrificed his life for peace.
“Pukhtuns have always been made to endure terrorism and the same has been the case with Alamzeb Khan,” he said.
He said ANP’s intentions in reaching an accord with Tehrik Nifaz-i-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) regarding the enforcement of a ‘Sharia-based judicial system’ in Swat were based on sincerity.
The ANP chief said some elements were trying to put obstacles in the way of peace in Swat and all political parties and other segments of the society needed to stand up against terrorism.
“Those who don’t know where Swat is located are speaking and writing about Swat,” he said.
He said the analysts who were making a mountain out of a molehill should do something else to pass time. “They don’t know what price the residents of Swat have been paying since the eruption of violence in the valley.”
He said the people of Swat had welcomed the government’s announcement about providing speedy and inexpensive justice.
“Nobody will be allowed to sabotage the initiative for peace,” he added.
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