Recalling the tussle between the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former
Supreme Court chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Awami National Party Central
President Asfandyar Wali Khan said that the present government and judiciary
should avoid repeating the mistake as the country would ultimately suffer in
such a case.

He was briefing media persons after a meeting of party’s Central Working
Committee held at Chief Minister’s House in Peshawar.

He reminded that powers of every organ of the state had clearly been
mentioned in the Constitution and each one should work within its ambit because
Pakistan could not afford any inter-institution wrangling.

“Misunderstanding or conflict among state institutions must be avoided as it
will not augur well for the stability of the country,” he said,

He said that the CWC meeting unanimously endorsed the party policies vis-i-vis
its stance on extremism and terrorism. He said the society could not progress in
the presence of extremist forces.

He said that the militants were not interested in Islam and they had their own
agenda and the ANP had decided to face any challenge that came in its fight
against terrorism. He appealed to people of other provinces to support
Pakhtunkhwa government in its fight against terrorism.

Asfandyar said that his party had asked the provincial government that
fool-proof arrangement should be made for the rehabilitation of internally
displaced persons (IDPs) of Malakand division as well as for its reconstruction.

He said that the meeting also asked the provincial government to make an
effective administrative system for the Malakand division. He said that CWC also
urged upon the federal government to establish its writ in tribal areas as the
situation there was affecting the province.

Asfandyar Wali said that the party had also urged upon federal government to
integrate the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with the province and
if not, then at least they should be given representation in provincial
assembly. He said that 17th Amendment must be repealed, but he hastened to add
that only repealing the 17th Amendment was not solution to the problem.

“Will the problem of Balochistan be solved by repealing the 17th Amendment?” he
posed a question. Asfandyar said giving financial autonomy to the provinces was
the only solution to remove the sense of deprivation among the small provinces.

Talking about the division of Punjab into two provinces, Asfandyar said 10 years
back the ANP had separated the party organisation in the Punjab and the Seraiki
belt was given proper representation in the CWC of the party. He said the ANP
considered the Seraiki area as a separate province.

To a question, Asfandyar said ANP was against the US drone attacks and had
strongly condemned it at every forum. “We have been arguing that such attacks
are counter-productive,” he said.