Peshawar: A meeting of the consultative committee Think Tank of ANP was held in Islamabad on May 13, 2013 to consider the factors behind the electoral defeat of the party in general elections held on May 11, 2013. Members of the committee held a detailed discussion of the election results. They analyzed the reasons and factors behind the electoral defeat of the party and in the end agreed on a suggestion that the issue should be discussed and decisions should be taken by the Central Executive Committee CEC.
On May 16, 2013, a meeting of the CEC of the party was held. It was presided over by the central president of the party Mr. Asfandyar Wali Khan. Members of the CEC from all over the country actively participated in the meeting which considered all aspects and dimensions of the electoral results.
The gist of the debate suggested that there were two aspects of the party’s rout in the elections. One was of course the conspiracies hatched against the party by elements outside the party who are afraid of ANP’s political stand in wake of the emerging regional political scenario, in particular the post 2014 political scene in the region.
But there was also another aspect and that was related to the internal weaknesses of the party and the government. They included weakness of policy, weakness of governance and weakness of organization. CEC decided that central president of the party should constitute a high powered committee to investigate the second aspect and present its report to the president after a month.
The purpose was to avoid mere sentimental and showy rhetoric about “Resignations”. Instead, there should be fact finding so that the party gets to the bottom of things. In pursuance of the CEC decision Asfandyar Wali Khan announced the formation of a fact finding committee FFC on the same day in a press conference in Islamabad. The FFC was tasked to carry out inquiry on federal level.
The following party leaders were included in the committee: Bashir Khan Matta Chairman, Ms. Jameela Gilani, Baz Mohammad Khan, Jafar Shah, Haroon Bilour, Zahid Khan, Sayed Hanif Shah and Riaz A. Sheikh. The CEC fully empowered the central president to implement the recommendations in the report of the FFC.
The FFC continued its work from June 1 to July 1 2013. It sent some of its members to other federating units to bring back reports. ANP workers from all districts of Pukhtunkhwa were informed through newspaper advertisements about the committee’s schedule to facilitate access.
The FFC received opinions of the party workers in writing, orally and through telephonic conversations. Thousands of workers deposed before the committee coming out with their criticism and suggestions. Subsequently the committee went through the entire body of opinions expressed by the workers and compiled a report out of it. By July 3, 2013, the report was ready and it was presented to the central president on July 13, 2013.
Before discussing the report let me bring on record that ANP appreciates the hard work, honestly and truthfulness of the FFC. The committee has it its report reflected the opinion of the workers in a very bold and objective way. Their report will be valuable in informing the party about the state of its help which will be very important for the future performance of the party.
The FFC report has criticized the mode of recruiting members into the party that lacked transparency. Consequently the entire process of organization building based on it has been flawed and unrepresentative. Similarly the points out that constraint on movement due to security concerns led to a gap in the contacts between the leadership.
There was also a disconnect between the party and cadres and the government. These disconnects created a vacuum that gave birth to alienation among workers. This alienation played an important role in the party’s defeat.
ANP government did large scale and historic development throughout the province but it could not be projected properly and the party was not able to politically cash it.
Similarly, the party or the government could not effectively respond to the vicious propaganda campaign launched by their opponents.
The workers also pointed out the lack of an effective accountability system in the party and the government. Yet another weakness pointed out was the lack of involvement of female members in the party organization. Consequently in some female polling stations the opponents found a walk over.
But FFC was of the considered opinion that irrespective of the aforementioned weaknesses of the party and the government there was a sinister plan to defeat the party.
Party’s elections campaign was literally blocked through terrorist attacks. So much so that our candidates and workers were not allowed to hold even corner meetings.
On the other hand, opponents of the party were free to conduct their campaign in every form.
Billions of rupees were spent by the opponents to launch campaigns against the party through the media, particularly through the electronic media. Due to weak financial resources, ANP could not counter these campaigns.
On the polling day in the polling stations the polling staff working absolutely partially and systematically ensured the party’s defeat. In spite of serious reservations about poll rigging, ANP accepted poll results so democracy is not derailed by antidemocratic forces.
Before moving ahead on the report we present glowing tributes to all the martyrs of ANP who sacrificed their lives to defend the life, property and honour of their people and their motherland. We would particularly mention the valiant workers of ANP who came out risking their lives on the elections day in total disregard to all sorts of threats. The workers of no other party in Pakistan can present the example of such courage and sacrifice.
The FFC had proposed its recommendations should be implemented after the bye elections in the country. We accepted that. Afterwards, some colleagues thought that we should delay launching of reforms in the party to a time after holding of the local governments. But I thought it was not in the fitness of things to delay any further the implementation of an important report of a committee that was formed by a decision of the CEC. Now when the bye elections are over, I hereby announce the following steps for reforms:
1 – Banking on the powers conferred on me by the CEC I dissolve all party organizations and institutions from the lowest unit to the district, provincial and central cabinets.
2 – There will be new membership drive on total democratic and transparent lines after which party organization at all levels from lower to higher levels will be elected through a democratic elections process.
3 – Party elections and all other organizational activities will take place strictly according to the party’s constitution. Similarly, all provincial organizations are instructed to adopt their constitutions to the basic framework of the central constitution in view of the national council decision.
4 – In the internal electoral process of the party wherever there will be more than one candidate for any office, the workers will have the right to elect on the basis of secret ballot.
5 In order to start new membership drive and conduct elections, I am announcing today a central election commission and five provincial election commissions. These election commissions would also be working as organizing committees for the transitional period to run the day to day affairs.
6 – To ensure that the internal election process is totally transparent and neutral, members of the aforementioned election commissions at all levels would not be eligible to contest elections for presidentships and general secretaryship of the staid level.
7 – The names of the members of the central election commission are as follows: Haji Mohammad Adeel Chairman, Baz Mohammad Khan, Bushra Gohar, Rana Mubarak, Haji Shafeeq, Major Masroor Baig, Dr. Mohammad Akram Khan, Farooq Bangash, Sultan Mandokhel, Daud Khan Adv., Abdul Malik Panazai.
8 – The names of the members of the election commission for Pukhtunkhwa are as follows: Bashir Khan Matta Chairman, Aimal Wali Khan, Syed Aqil Shah, Jamila Gilani, Sadruddin, Jaffar Shah, Nimroz Khan.
9 – The names of the members of the election commission for Balochistan are as follows: Haji Jabbar Kakar Chairman, Malik Ubaidullah Kasi, Bismillah Loni, Rasheed Nasir, Asghar Ali Tareen.
10 – The names of the members of the election commission for Sindh are as follows: Altaf Adv. Chairman, Hanif Shah, Wakeel Khan Swati, Shaukat Khan, Shahid Ali Khan.
11 – The names of the members of the election commission for the Saraiki Unit are as follows: Mohammad Yamin Chairman, Dr. Wajid Ali, Mohammad Akram Chauhan, Ghulam Rasool Bhatti, Mohammad Afzal Shah Bukhari.
12 – The names of the members of the election commission for Punjab are as follows: Riaz A. Sheikh Chairman, Mir Alam, Aman Pasha, Wali Shah, Qurban Ali Kakar.
13 – The provincial election commissions will constitute election commissions for districts starting from September 1, 2013, to September 15, 2013.
14 – From September 16, 2013, to September 30, 2013, the district election commissions will hold elections for the union council organizations in their jurisdictions.
15 – The minimum number of members of the district election commissions shall be five and the maximum number of members of the district election commissions shall be nine.
16 – In new organizational structure there shall be no organization on sub division and provincial constituency level. There shall be organization on branch lowest level, union council, and district, provincial and central level.
17 – membership drive shall be completed in two months. It shall be done in October and November.
18 – After the completion of membership, elections for branch and union council organizations shall be completed in one month December. Elections for branch organizations shall be conducted by union council election commissions and those of union councils will be held by the district election commissions.
19 – Elections for district organizations will be completed in one month January 2014. Provincial election commissions would oversee it.
20 – Provincial organizations will be elected in February 2014. Central election commission will conduct these elections.
21 – Central cabinet will be elected between March 1, 2014, and March 15, 2014.
Today’s announcements and steps have decisively made it clear that ANP, in keeping with democratic traditions, has taken the process of self criticism and reforms seriously. This is the only political party that went back to its workers after the defeat.
Guided by the criticism, suggestions and opinions the party is taking bold reformative steps.
We are confident that reorganization of the party in a democratic and transparent way will not only lead to the reinvigoration of the spirits of the party activists, but it will also go a long way to inspire the confidence of the masses on the party.