MARDAN: The Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan on Saturday
said the ANP was ready to talks to the militants if they accept the state’s
writ, give up violence and promise not to use our land against any other
country.

He said everyone was criticising the US drone attacks but no one talked about
the presence of Uzbeks, Tajiks and Arabs in the country for the last several
decades.

Asfandyar said the parliament would complete its tenure and elections would be
held on schedule.

‘There is no chance of snap polls in the country. The ANP will win the next
general elections on the basis of its performance,’ he told a huge public
meeting at the Government Postgraduate College Ground in Mardan, the native
district of Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti.

He welcomed reforms in Fata and demanded further measures to take the tribal
people into confidence.

The young Chief Minister, his father and former federal minister Muhammad Azam
Khan Hoti and ANP provincial President Senator Afrasiab Khattak also addressed
the public meeting.

Asfandyar Wali said the government had restored the parliament’s powers through
the 18th constitutional Amendment that had been usurped during the dictatorship.

He said the country was facing a host of problems and any undemocratic move
could aggravate the miseries of the masses.

The ANP chief said the provincial government continued development work in
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa despite the militancy and floods.

He said the renaming of the province and winning provincial autonomy were the
major achievements of the ruling ANP.

It was the third big public rally of the ANP in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa addressed by
the ANP chief Asfandyar Wali in recent weeks. Earlier, he spoke to a public
gathering in Charsadda and Swabi.

ANP workers started arriving at the vast College Ground early in the morning,
waving the red party flags and chanting slogans in favour of their leaders. Rows
of vehicles that brought the participants from outside the city were parked all
over the place.

The public meeting, presided over by the ANP Mardan President Muhammad Farooq
Akram Khan, started at 2pm. The chief minister’s mother Nasreen Bibi also
attended the public meeting for the first time.

Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti told the gathering that some people were
criticising him and saying he had spent all the money in Mardan and Charsadda
districts but it was totally wrong. However, he added that these districts had
been ignored in the past and now he was giving these areas their due rights.

‘I cannot disgrace anyone because my elders haven’t taught me this lesson. My
elders taught me to respect elders,’ he remarked while complaining that some
people were in the habit of disgracing his elders.

‘I challenge those people to contest the by-election in NA-9 against any ANP
worker. I am also ready to contest against them on which ever seat they like,’
he challenged.

He said some parties were bringing people from other parts of the province to
public meetings but the people attending the ANP rally belonged to Mardan. ‘They
have not been rented to attend our rally but are the followers of Bacha Khan and
Wali Khan,’ he stressed.

‘I respect Imran Khan who once told me that he wanted to establish a Cancer
Hospital in Peshawar. Our government gave land worth Rs500 million, besides Rs50
million funds for the hospital,’ he recalled.

Azam Hoti said those talking about ‘tsunami’ knew that tsunamis brought
destruction. ‘We are living on mountains where tsunami cannot reach. Tsunami
should worry only those who could be affected by it,’ he said, adding that those
talking about change should come to Mardan and see the change.

He said he saluted his party leaders, the chief minister and his cabinet
members.

On the occasion, the chief minister announced to establish a Management and
Sciences College on the Mardan-Swabi road to be named after Nawab Muhammad Akbar
Khan, grandfather of former federal minister and PTI leader Khwaja Muhammad Khan
Hoti who recently quit the ANP.