ANP restricts minister’s movement
PESHAWAR, Dec 26: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain has restricted his movement after instructions from the Awami National Party leadership during a meeting held in the aftermath of assassination of Bashir Ahmed Bilour in a suicide attack last week.
Mr Hussain, who remained on terrorists’ hit-list for his determination to carry out the government’s anti-militancy struggle, told Dawn on Wednesday that he had restricted his movement after orders from the party high command.
“I am a worker of the ANP and bound to obey its directives. The party leadership told me it doesn’t want to lose me and therefore directed me not to go on scheduled visits,” Mr Hussain said.
The information minister said that a meeting held under party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan on Tuesday had strictly asked him to stay away from addressing public meetings in his home constituency ahead of coming general election.
Mr Hussain whose lone son Mian Rashid Hussain was killed by Taliban over two years ago, says he will perform his official engagements, but would keep aloof from showing up at public places.
A day after killing of his son the terrorists had carried out another attack outside his residence at his ancestral village Pabbi, which had left many people dead. Mr Hussain had survived the attack because he was not present there.
“My battle against terrorism will continue with full force and I would pursue those spreading terror and frightening people, but would also comply with the party’s directives,” the minister said.
Party sources told Dawn that the information minister had also been directed by ANP provincial president Afrasiab Khattak and chief minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti to enhance his security and avoid visiting congested localities and scheduled programmes.