“US, China, and Iran should come forward and seek guarantee that Pakistan and Afghanistan will not allow their respective soils to be used by militants,” Achakzai suggested
AT-BANNU: Addressing party’s worker convention at Fazal Qadar Shaheed auditorium Bannu, Chairman of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Mehmood Khan Achakzai forewarned that instability in Afghanistan can destabilize the entire region and will bring disastrous consequences, especially for the neighboring countries once again. Therefore, Islamabad needed to refrain from repeating mistakes made in the past by following a policy of peaceful co-existence, especially toward its neighbors as peace, tranquility and prosperity stemmed from respecting rights, dignity and sovereignty of each other.
Achakzai was unequivocal about Pakistan’s policy towards Afghanistan and India and said that the policy of peaceful co-existence with those two countries could usher prosperity not only for Pakistan but for the entire region. A press statement released by PkMAP Secretariat on Sunday, quoted Achakzai saying, “The US, China and Iran should come forward to play the role of guarantor to encourage Afghanistan and Pakistan not to allow their respective soil to be used by the militants for carrying out terrorist activities on both side of the Durand Line.”
Achakzai emphasized that Pakistan was a multi ethnic state and only democracy and equity could ensure its viability and stable state with the Parliament acting as a supreme institution for making policies. Making senate powerful by giving authority of initiating financial bills will boast the confidence of smaller federating units in the federation.
He said that arbitrary polices of the past caused great damage to the country. Pakistan was passing through a critical phase and needed to put its house in order. Muslim world stood divided and in the current polarized world regional challenges were daunting. In such circumstance Pakistan could only be viable state if democracy was not manipulated and genuine federation was respected resulting in respect democratic rights of people, especially of the oppressed units through genuine autonomy.
He emphasized that Pashtuns’ role was pivotal in achieving independence from the British Raj and did not deserve the situation they were experiencing currently. The state needed to take strict notice of the law enforcement agencies’ harassment of the Pashtuns particularly in Sindh, Punjab and Kashmir.
Achakzai said that from the Greek historian Herodotus to present day, no historian had referred to Pashtuns as terrorists but termed them as people infused with hospitality. Therefore, typecasting them as terrorists was a contortion of truth, challenging their unwavering loyalty to the state.
Nonetheless he cautioned the Pashtuns to be vigilant of those elements manipulating their religious sentiments to gain extreme form of ideological grounds for political power.
Mukhtar Khan Yusufzai, the president of PkMAP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter, reminded that the Pashtuns had absolute loyalty and love toward their soil and history is replete with their sacrifices for defending their land. Mukhtar Khan warned the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government against harassing Pashtuns hailing from FATA in Peshawar.
Senator Usman Kakar, the president PkMAP Balochistan chapter, said that his party supported the people of FATA struggling for their rights. He asked if Kashmir could have its own assembly, president and prime minister then why the people of FATA should not have the same rights and privilege.
The leader of the PkMAP demanded the unification of Pakhtuns from Chitral to Bolan, including Attock and Mianwali, into one federating unit with rights over their resources. The PkMAP also demanded Pashto to be declared the official language along with other national languages. It further demanded that IDPs from FATA should return to their homes and the government needed to compensate them for their losses.
The convention was also addressed by leaders of PkMAP; Malak Shaukatullah, Khurshid Kaka, Jahangeer Khan, and Dr. Habibullah.