ANP legacy

Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

This letter refers to the article ‘The ANP’s fall from grace’ (TNS, February 25, 2024) by Dr Hamza Bangash on the ANP and the need for this party to reexamine its objectives and directions. Having witnessed the gradual decline of the ANP from the 1980s onwards, I would like to say that there is no point in putting too much weight on the retirement of Abdul Wali Khan or the poor managerial abilities of Asfandyar Wali Khan. The Bacha Khan family had never, as far as I am aware, indulged in the politics of patronage and were always more idealistic in their approach. Maybe that is a disqualification in Pakistani politics? I would also like to add that the narrow ethno-nationalist political perspectives developed more in the NAP and later in the ANP, when faced by various post-1947 martial laws and attempts to destroy the party.

Originally, before 1947, Bacha Khan and his supporters, combined a broader socialist-nationalist approach, somewhat akin to the Indian National Congress, who used to be their main allies in the NWFP in the colonial times. Due to this attitude and his non-violent principles, Bacha Khan was often labelled the 'Frontier Gandhi'. It would be good if the present ANP leadership decided to think about this rich history and heritage, get rid of the hijackers who now control the party, and return to their universalist roots.

Dr Ayesha Sadozai