Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Awami National party

Raisani removes parliamentary affairs minister:The Daily Times, Oct 11

By Malik Siraj Akbar
QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani on Saturday relieved the provincial minister for parliamentary affairs, Rubina Irfan, of her duties, reportedly because of “objectionable activities” that were undermining the stability of the provincial coalition government.

The female minister belongs to the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid and is the wife of Agha Irfan Karim, former minister for Zakat and Ushr, who earlier tendered his resignation to express solidarity with PPP minister Ali Madad Jattak. “Rubina’s portfolio has been given to Shama Perveen Magsi, the minister for Information Technology [and wife of Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi],” a senior official at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat confirmed. “Rubina will retain the status of a provincial minister, but without a portfolio,” he added. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\10\11\story_11-10-2009_pg7_15

October 11, 2009   No Comments

No justification for holding referendum on NWFP renaming: ANP

The Daily Times, Sept 10
PESHAWAR: Awami National Party (ANP) said on Wednesday there was no justification for holding a referendum on the NWFP renaming issue as demanded by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and thus the ANP rejected it, saying only the constitutional committee of the parliament could decide the issue.

The ANP said the Nawaz League’s criticism of the ANP and its attitude towards Pakhtuns was condemnable. “Nawaz League is the enemy of Pakhtuns and still following the policies of Ranjeet Singh,” said ANP Provincial President Afrasiab Khattak while addressing a press conference along with party leaders Arbab Tahir Khalil, Arbab Najeebullah, Arbab Tajuddin and others.

Khattak said the renaming of the province was an important issue and the provincial assembly had already unanimously passed a resolution demanding the province be renamed Pakhtunkhwa.

The ANP leader said the issue was under consideration in the parliament’s constitutional committee working for constitutional reforms. However, he added, the PML-N leaders made the issue public instead of solving it within the constitutional committee and started giving public statements on issue.

Khattak said NWFP, FATA and PATA were no names. “It’s only Pakhtunkhwa but attempts are being made to make it controversial,” he said. Khattak said the PML-N made a demand for a referendum on the issue. “I propose referendums be also held on the name issue in Punjab and Sindh as only one language is not spoken in a province,” he said. He said there are a large number of Seraiki speaking people in Punjab and therefore referendum should also be held there.

Khattak said no referendum was held when Lyallpur was renamed to Faisalabad and Montgomery to Sahiwal.

The ANP leader said the largest political parties had also acknowledged the name Pakhtunkhwa and the name is no longer controversial. Khattak said the people of the province supporting the Nawaz League should review their party affiliation as “PML-N is the enemy of Pakhtuns.” He said the name Pakhtunkhwa was the demand of the people of the province.

Khattak said the name Afghania was also acceptable as it was given to this region by the founders of Pakistan. The ANP leader said Abasin was the name of a river and Khyber the name of an area and therefore could not be accepted as name of the province.

“We can only accept Pakhtunkhwa or Afghania,” he said. Khattak said the ANP is cooperating with the parliament’s constitutional committee and wants to solve the problem within this constitutional body. “And if it could not solve the issue, we’ll stick to our stand and demand,” said the ANP provincial president. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\09\10\story_10-9-2009_pg7_11

September 10, 2009   No Comments

Renaming NWFP: edit in The Dawn, Sept 9

REIGNITING what lately had appeared to be a settled issue, Nawaz Sharif has demanded that a referendum be held in the NWFP on the renaming of the province. Mr Sharif’s demand flies in the face of an overwhelming majority in the NWFP Assembly, which has passed a resolution endorsing the name Pakhtunkhwa. Moreover, while a constitutional amendment has yet to be passed, the nomenclature has already been amended at the centre informally with everyone from the president to the prime minister to federal ministers referring to the NWFP as Pakhtunkhwa. Overlooking the near unanimity, Mr Sharif has instead apparently opted to focus on shoring up support for his own party in the Hazara region, a traditional PML-N stronghold that is Hindko-speaking. But even on that count, the PML-N leader may be misguided. The 1998 census shows that Mansehra is evenly divided between Pushto- and Hindko-speakers, while in other districts such as Haripur and Abbottabad a significant Pushto-speaking population too now resides. Moreover, there is the fact that in the NWFP generally Pushto is the mother tongue of three-fourths of the population. Why then should the people of the NWFP continue to live under a colonial-era name? Names matter to identity, something we have seen very recently with Gilgit-Baltistan, an appellation that has been hailed by the people of the erstwhile Northern Areas. Looking at the other federating units — Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh — there is also the question of why the NWFP alone should have a name with no regional identity.

The problem, then, isn’t about a referendum — Pakhtunkhwa is supported by the majority and the people’s elected representatives — but why Mr Sharif would want to impede the process of changing the name of the NWFP at all. Since his return to the country, Mr Sharif and his party have done a fair bit to challenge the perception that the PML-N is a one-province party, most noticeably by reaching out to Balochistan and sounding a conciliatory note to the smaller provinces during the ongoing NFC discussions. By digging in his heels on Pakhtunkhwa, however, Mr Sharif is unnecessarily reinforcing old perceptions and needlessly alienating a province. http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/renaming-nwfp-999

September 9, 2009   No Comments

Unrest in Balochistan: ‘India being blamed to justify military action’

LAHORE, Aug 5: Indian interference is being alleged in Balochistan to justify the military operation, says Jamhoori Watan Party President Shahzain Bugti.

Speaking as chief guest at a seminar entitled “Threats to National Security and Our Responsibilities” here on Wednesday, Bugti said the government should prove its allegations of Indian interference in Balochistan if it had any evidence. “We are accused of being pro-India. We would have voted for inclusion of Balochistan in India in 1947 if we had been in favour of India,” he said.

Bugti, the grandson of late chieftain Nawab Akbar Bugti, said the federal government always wronged Balochistan. “Baloch people were asked to come down from mountains in 1960 and hanged. Nawab Akbar Bugti was assassinated and Gwadar was snatched from Balochistan.” Bugti said allegations of target killing of Punjabis were being levelled to justify the presence of Frontier Constabulary in Balochistan.

He said Baloch people did not hate Punjabis. He said his party was criticised for demanding royalty for gas. He however said that his party demanded the royalty for the Balochistan government and not for itself.

He said the gas emanating from Balochistan was not available in most parts of the province and its rates were higher there than Punjab and Sindh.

Awami National Party Secretary General Ehsan Wyne said he spent three months with the late Bugti in Kot Lakhpat Jail, but never heard him talking against Pakistan.

He said there had been eight military operations in Balochistan so far and the last one was still in progress. He said people revolted as they did in East Pakistan whenever they were deprived of their rights.

He said people’s rights would have to be restored for trial of Pervez Musharraf. He said Punjab was abused for the evils of its bureaucracy. Pakistan Democratic Party Secretary General Nawaz Gondal said most problems being faced by the country had been created by dictators, who destroyed all national institutions to prolong their rules.

He said the country needed an institution to prevent loot and plunder. He said Musharraf should be tried for the assassination of the late Bugti.

He said democracy had not been restored in the country despite the general election, adding that the incumbent government was civil, but not democratic.

Former federal law minister SM Masood said the country was facing problems because of various institutions’ attempts to usurp each other’s powers. He said the tug of war destabilised the country, while foreign pressures were also creating problems. http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/unrest-in-balochistan-india-being-blamed-to-justify-military-action-689

August 6, 2009   1 Comment