CM KPk participation in DPC: Why controversy?

Ghulam Idris Khan

The Awami National Party (ANP) expressed strong criticism to the  participation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister in Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) gathering in Peshawar on Sunday. Mr. Zahid Khan, spokesperson of the Awami National party, said that  “PTI has buried the National Action Plan(NAP)”. This rally was also addressed by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the chief of Jama’at ud Da’wah (JuD) a banned outfit by government of Pakistan, while senior leader of the banned organization Prof Abdul Rehman Makki was also present on the stage.

After being nominated by the party for the position of CM, Pervez Khattak held a press conference with media, asking Taliban not to carry out attacks or any terror relating activities in KP, because, according to CM, they share same ideology. Recently in interview with media anchorperson, CM Pervez Khattak was asked a similar question, about having a soft spot for the TTP, which he bluntly denied, saying “it was not me; it was Shahbaz Sharif (CM Punjab)”. The TV program then playe a video clip from the archives in which Pervez Khattak can be clearly seen advocating in favour of the Taliban.

In recent past, the PTI chairman Imran Khan had openly offered for the establishment of office in Peshawar for Taliban and asking the federal government not to initiate any operation against them. The PML-N government too was following the same policy. PTI was so sympathetic towards Taliban that a news appeared in media that some Taliban leader was treated in Shaukat Khanum hospital in Lahore. The government under the leadership of Pervez Khatk even contributed in turning down the resolution which was under consideration in favour of Malala, daughter of the land, who showed courage against the Taliban.

The federal government of Nawaz Sharif and his interior minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan of that time and PTI camp were favoring dialogue with Taliban. A committee was established for this purpose. Bomb blasts were carried out routinely but they were unaffected.

It was black day of 16th December 2014 when the terrorists attacked Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar and martyred young school kids, who were like flowers. The entire Pakistan, KP and Peshawar in particular were shocked on this tragedy. On the other hand, PTI was busy with the sit-in in Islamabad to resolve the 35 puncture (related to general elections of 2013) with federal government of Nawaz Sharif. The PML govt. was not ready to agree to their demands.

The blood of young Pushtoon  school-going students brought back both parties to senses. Nawaz govt. called All Parties Conference to chart out  comprehensive strategy to tackle this issue. PTI called off their sit-in, which was terminated without achieving the goal. National Action Plan was announced and launched. It was a twenty point action plan prepared to be executed by federal and provincial govt.

In year 2016, the provincial govt. of KP made drastic cut in the fund for minorities which was reserved for text books and fee for deserving students of minorities, and instead allocated a whopping Rs 300 million for religious seminary of Dar-ul-Uloom Haqqania in Akora Khattak. The govt of KP justified the move, saying that Haqqania at Akora Khattak produced many scholars in past. PTI chairman defended it by saying that we are doing it to “bring them to the mainstream and to keep them away from radicalization.” He further stated that in the past, Khan Abdul Wali Khan visited this religious school. In recent past, PTI chairman Imran Khan and KP chief minister Pervez Khattak also visited this seminary and made an election alliance with Jamiat ul Islam (Sam-Ul-Haq Group). The chief of his own group Maulana Sami-ul-Haq also announced this arrangement for the upcoming election of 2018.

The participation of KP’s CM in this rally and later on, a meeting with them in CM House Peshawar is not astonishing to political players in the KP. The relation between them are so sweet that the day PTI installed govt in KP,  it allocated huge funds to that religious school, hoping that this may attract some political gain for PTI and dent the reputation of JUI-F (Fazal-ur-Rehman) group in district Nowshera, the home town of Pervez Khattak.

Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) once included Lt. Gen (R) Hamid Gul, a famous character and key player in  the formation of Islami Jumhoori Ittehed (IJI) with the objective to defeat Pakistan People’s Party led by Benazir Bhutto in 1988 elections.

The presence of senior leader of Juma’at-ud- Da’wah on the stage and telephonic address by Hamid Saeed of banned organization is an eye opener for the operators of National Action Plan. These are the same group or parties now assembled minus Nawaz Sharif in the shape of DPC, who nowadays claim to be an “ideologist” having a political road map.

Lt. Gen(R) Nasir Khan Janjua National Security Advisor, in an interview with the research journal of Pak institute for peace studies (PIPS), a reputable think tank based in Islamabad, clearly stated that in provinces, chief ministers are conveners of NAP in their respective provinces, when it come to the implementation.

The KP has its border with FATA. According to PIPS report, FATA remained critical area for the terrorism related killing in 2017. The Chief Minister is hosting outfit entities in the chief minister house. As convener of NAP in KP, he is ignoring national responsibility for political mileage.

It is shocking to know that not even a single member of provincial assembly is able to ask the govt of KP, regarding the Chief Minister’s role in NAP.

The PTI govt in KP headed by Pervez Khattak is following the same stance as that of 2013 that is having soft view for the religious elements to gain their votes in 2018 election.

The 300 million rupees provided to Dar-ul-Uloom Haqqania had already borne fruit which is clear from the political alliance of JUI (S) and PTI for the coming general election of 2018.