Completion of devolution process

Tausef-ur-Rehman (The News)

PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party will launch month-long celebrations today to
mark the completion of the devolution process in light of the 18th Amendment.

The party would arrange awareness sessions, gatherings and other events to
commemorate the implementation of its long-standing demand.

"The ANP was the ardent supporter of provincial autonomy for which it strived
for decades and rendered numerous sacrifices. Our dream came true and we will
celebrate it with full enthusiasm," provincial information minister and
spokesman Mian Iftikhar Hussain said while talking to The News.

The federal cabinet on Tuesday decided to celebrate July 1 as Provincial
Autonomy Day. With the devolution of seven federal ministries on Tuesday last, a
total of 17 federal ministries have been devolved two days before the deadline
set up for the process.

In this connection, the party has decided to arrange events in all the districts
of the province. "The central and provincial leaders of the party will address
the main event at Nishtar Hall on July 1," said Arbab Tahir, the provincial
spokesman of the ANP.

He said the party would hold events in all the districts and make the workers
aware about the benefits the province would receive after the completion of the
devolution process.

Mian Iftikhar said the ANP always laid emphasis on the provincial autonomy as
only financially stable provinces can guarantee a strong federal system. He said
after the 18th Amendment and its implementation, which was a daunting task, the
provinces would no more feel the sense of deprivation.

He said now the provinces had the resources and if they fail to deliver it would
be their failure and thus the blame-game against the federation should come to
an end. “Securing rights for the province was a dream of our elders and the ANP
under the leadership of Asfandyar Wali made it a reality,” Mian Iftikhar argued.

He said the party was thankful to President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister
Yusuf Raza Gilani, the federal cabinet and the implementation committee headed
by Senator Mian Raza Rabbani for their relentless efforts to achieve the
provincial autonomy through a democratic process.

The party’s chief Asfandyar Wali Khan in a statement congratulated the nation on
Provincial Autonomy Day and termed it the result of the sacrifices rendered by
freedom fighter Bacha Khan, Wali Khan and their followers.

He said the ANP had raised the issue of provincial autonomy at a time when
people who talked about such issues were dubbed as traitors and were put behind
the bars.