ANP issued show cause notices to Afrasiab Khattak and Bushra Gohar. Here's why

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ANP issued show cause notices to Afrasiab Khattak and Bushra Gohar. Here’s why

ISLAMABAD: Two firebrand voices of the Awami National Party (ANP), Bushra Gohar and Afrasiab Khattak, have received show-cause notices from party leadership for allegedly violating the SOPs of the party, a statement issued by the party office said. The two leaders have been told to respond to the notices within seven days or would have to face strict action from the party.

“On the directives of (ANP) central president Asfandyar Wali Khan, you have been issued show cause notice because your activities are against party interest, policy and manifesto. It has caused irreversible loss to the party’s cause and it has been confusing the party workers causing doubts in them which amounts to causing damage to the party’s interest,” said the show cause notice issued to Ms Bushra.

On social media both the accused party leaders have shared stuff criticizing establishment’s alleged support for the new right-wing movements, backing Pashtoon Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), and highlighting the atrocities of the state in the war torn tribal areas.

The left-wing activists on social media are mostly of the view that ANP has bowed down to the powerful establishment regarding the dissenting voices of the two party leaders but others consider it an internal issue of the party.

A source in the party told that party suffered a lot at the hands of militancy and lost many of its senior leaders and workers. They hardly received any space in the 2013 general elections and that’s why the top leadership isn’t comfortable on the tussle with the powerful establishment in an environment where space for them is already shrinking. He added that after the firebrand speeches of the PTM leadership and the reaction of the establishment, the party had already issued directions to its workers to not attend PTM gatherings and, now a member of National Assembly, Moshsin Dawar was made an example for the same.

He added that Asfandyar Wali Khan’s health condition wasn’t satisfactory for past few months and that was why his son Aimal Wali Khan was handling most of the party affairs.

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A source who attended the last meeting of the ANP where party head Asfandyar Wali Khan was present told exclusively to NayaDaur that Afrasiab Khattak and Bushra Gohar in a meeting with PTM suggested converting the movement to a political party and both leaders could potentially move to the new political force. He added that Afrasiab Khattak and Latif Afridi exchanged words when Latif Afridi argued with Khattak and told him to either follow the manifesto or think of other options.

‘Conflict between Afrasiab Khattak and his comrades is not new but it became worse when Afrasiab Khattak and his close allies adopted an aggressive stance against the party’s influential people’

He added that in next couple of days Afrasiab Khattak could be parting ways with ANP along with his close allies and this could be the beginning of a storm for the party.

Aqeel Yousafzai, a Peshawar-based journalist and author working on nationalist politics on both sides of the Durand-line, told that the conflict between Afrasiab Khattak and his comrades is not new but it became worse when Afrasiab Khattak and his close allies adopted an aggressive stance against the party’s influential people.

He added that every party had a clear discipline and manifesto based on which the party runs. Aqeel said that looking at the Twitter timelines of the two leaders on social media, it seemed that mostly they promoted the agenda of the movement and not the party so the show cause could have also been issued in that context.

We tried to contact Iftikhar Hussain for his version too but he wasn’t available for a comment.

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Abdullah Malik

The author is a reporter based in Islamabad.

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