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Asfandyar says KP-Fata divide should go away

Bureau Report 2017-08-07
PESHAWAR: Awami National Party leader Asfandyar Wali Khan showing his disgust with the Britishera divides still separating Pakhtuns has said that the first such divide he wants to see go away is the one that separates people of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas andKhyber Pakhtunkhwa.

`The British created a border and there are two more which we want to disappear one by one. I am upset aboutit and I often talk aboutitin public meetings that these borders among us must cease to exist,` said the Awami National Party leader, adding that the first one that was dividing people of Fata and KP should go away.

He said that then a time would come that they would get rid of names like southern Pakhtunkhwa and northern Pakhtunkhwa.

Mr Khan expressed these views while speaking at the inaugural ceremony of a collection of speeches ofnationalist leader Khan Mohammad Afzal Khan (Lala) who is remembered for his concept of national unity of Pakhtuns and political struggle to achieve Pakhtun unity even across the Durand Line.

The ANP leader mentioned how disappointed he was when former prime minister Nawaz Sharif did not listen to any other Pakhtun leader and their demand for KP-Fata merger than only paying heed to JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mehmud Khan Achakzai.

He criticised them for not respecting the demand of the tribal peoplewho wanted an end of Frontier Crimes Regulation. He said that it was time such divides and borders that divided Pakhtun people should diminish. The FCR should end, he said.

The ceremony was also attended by Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan, Dr Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, and leaders and workers of ANP.

The compilation of Afzal Khan Lala`s speeches at various public meetings and National Assembly about Pakhtun nationalism and unity was given a book form by Haroonur Rashid Khan and inaugurated at the Bacha Khan Markaz on Sunday evening.Afzal Khan Lala, who actively took part in politics as a student of Islamia College, Peshawar, and Law College, Peshawar, remained president of Swat Bar Association. He was a close political companion of Awami National Party leader Khan Abdul Wali Khan. He also remained a federal minister who created quite a stir when he used the word `Pakhtunkhwa` in his National Assembly speech.

He was honoured a lot for staying his ground when the Swat valley, his hometown, was in control of Taliban.

He was the true torchbearer of peace and national unity of Pakhtuns, said the speakers while paying tribute to late Afzal KhanLala. It was also announced that compilation of his speeches and writings would be translated into English and Urdu languages to spread his message.

Awami National Party secretary general Mian Iftikhar Hussain also paid tribute to late Afzal Khan Lala and said that he had written five books and he spoke on issues of Pakhtuns at several seminars and gatherings.

He led a life full of political activities, but earned a lot of respect when he stood up to Taliban who took control of Malakand division in 2007-08.

He remained till the very end with the people of his land.