President of the Awami National Party Asfandyar Wali Khan and Senator Abdul Nabi Bangash at a function in Sharjah.

Hundreds of expatriate Pakhtoon
community members from all over the UAE gathered at the ceremony held to
celebrate the renaming of their province.

Dubai: Chief of Awami National Party Asfandyar Wali Khan has said renaming of
their province as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is just the beginning of a long fight for
their rights.

"We have taken our identity with the renaming of our province and now we will
fight for our rights," Khan said while addressing Pakthun community members in
the UAE in the jam-packed hall of Pakistan Social Centre in Sharjah. He said the
recently passed 18th amendment in the Constitution would also give greater
provincial autonomy to all the provinces and further strengthen the federation
of Pakistan.

Khan was given a standing ovation and loud slogans of ‘Long live Pakhtunkhwa’
were raised as he entered the hall, which was decorated with a giant banner in
red — a colour synonymous to secular and liberal ANP. Hundreds of expatriate
Pakhtun community members from all over the UAE gathered at the ceremony held to
celebrate the renaming of their province.

They played Pashto songs, recited Pashto poetry of great poets such as Baba
Khushal Khan Khattak and also raised slogans cheering Asfandyar Wali and the
ANP’s Dubai-based Senator Abdul Nabi Bangash.

Passionate Pakhtuns donned Khan and Bangash with traditional turbans to
recognise their services and efforts in renaming their province. They also
played Pakhunkhwa Tarana (anthem) to mark the occasion.

In his speech, the ANP chief said that riots in Abbottabad in the Hazara
divisions of the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province were uncalled for at the time of
renaming the province.

"It was the result of differences between two parties — Pakistan Muslim League
[Nawaz] and Pakistan Muslim League [Q] — as they wanted to exploit the
situation," he said.

"I have no objection if the people of Hazara want to have a separate province
for it is their right but they should adopt the constitutional way," he added.
Khan thanked all the political parties for supporting the renaming of the
province. "I especially thank President Asif Ali Zardari who kept his promise
and Nawaz Sharif who supported our cause," he said.

Gulf News