PESHAWAR - Awami National Party President, Asfandyar Wali Khan, has demanded of the federal government to hold fruitful dialogues with militants and if talks fail to bear fruit, opt for other alternative options to cope with the menace of militancy.

“Terrorism has its roots in the tribal region. As the region is administered by the federal government, so the centre should negotiate with Taliban,” Asfandyar Wali said while addressing a condolence reference to pay tribute ANP slain leader and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa senior minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour here at Nistar Hall Peshawar.

On the occasion, ANP provincial president, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, son of slain ANP leader, and Special Adviser to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Barrister Haroon Bilour, and ANP elected representatives from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and parliament were also present.

Asfandyar said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government did not play any role for holding talks with Taliban militants in Fata as the region did not come under its domain and it was not authorised to go for any agreement in this regard. He said the political parties could only be resisted against terrorism, but the elimination of terrorism and extremism was responsibility of the state. “We did not ask Taliban militants to give up their weapons, but demanded to shun the path of violence”, ANP president said.

Asfandyar Wali said the assassination of ANP senior leader, Bashir Ahmad Bilour will not deter determination and any change in our direction. “ANP change its line and action after the assassination, was totally wrong perception and unwise thinking”, he added.

He said the change only can bring by power of ballot, but the anti-state elements wanted to bring change by other ways as their agenda was not establishment of peace and shun the path of violence. He said the policy could not be acceptable at any cost, which was against the vary existing of state and writ of the government.

“ANP will never oppose holding of elections in the country,” he reiterated, adding that holding of election was not a difficult task in volatile Afghanistan, then how it will be problem to go for elections in Pakistan, he questioned.

He said that his party would support the timely holding of elections in the country. 

Addressing on the occasion, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information and Public Relations, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, said that Awami National Party has a long history of sacrifices rendered for the sake of peace of the land and prosperity of the Pakhtuns adding that the sacrifice of Bashir Ahmad Ahmad Bilour Shaheed is an addition to the lengthy list of martyrs of ANP.

Provincial Minister said that Awami National Party was proud of the sacrifices rendered by its martyrs and each and every worker of ANP is ready to offer such sacrifices for the sake of peace in the land.

The martyrdom of Bashir Bilour has not demoralised the party rather it has boosted up the moral of party workers to fight the menace of terrorism, he maintained.

He added that the workers of ANP under the leadership of Asfandyar Wali Khan were resolved to restore complete peace even at the cost of their lives.

Addressing the reference party leaders eulogized the sacrifice, courage and bravery of Bashir Ahmad Bilour and expressed its resolve to fight terrorism till the end.