PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party (ANP) on Monday suspended the membership of its two senior leaders, Senior Vice President Bushra Gohar and former Senator Afrasiab Khattak, for violating the party discipline and damaging its interests.
According to a press release issued here, the party leadership issued a show-cause notice to the two senior party leaders last week and now suspended their memberships after “not receiving any satisfactory response”.
The show-cause notice was issued by ANP central General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain on the directives of party president Asfandyar Wali Khan.
“Your activities are against the party’s interests, its constitution and discipline that have resulted in [a] huge loss to the party,” the show-cause notice said, adding that their activities had negative effects on the workers as it created confusion and led to the misunderstanding that damaged the party’s interests.
The party had asked the two leaders to submit their reply within seven days or else face action for violating the party discipline and policy.
The party leadership further accused the two of continuing their activities on social media which resulted in confusion among party workers.
“Their responses are not at all satisfactory therefore the party president has suspended their basic membership according to the party constitution,” the party leadership said in the notification.
The notice did not state the exact charges or details of the activities for which the two leaders had been suspended. Earlier, Mian Iftikhar Hussain had said the specific reasons could not be disclosed to the media as this concerned the party’s internal matters.
Responding to the suspension of membership, Gohar had claimed that the “show-cause notice does not provide a pertinent reference to alleged activities against party”.
“There are no constitutional clauses under which notices were issued. The party head was abroad,” she said, seeking clarity on the constitutionality of directives issued.
Khattak, upon learning about the show cause notice through social media, said, “I really have not received anything verbally or in writing so far and only came to know about it (notice) through social media”
Whether it is against the party’s policy or not, both ANP leaders, who have been very vocal for rights of the Pashtun, actively support the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) on social media by re-tweeting and liking its tweets, whereas the nationalist party they’re associated with has tried to keep a distance from the social rights movement.