ANP Chief Minister Makes History in NWFP

Posted on April 3, 2008
Filed Under >Manzoor Ali Shah, Politics
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Manzoor Ali Shah

Amir Haider Hoti was sworn in on tuesday as the newly elected Chief Minister of NWFP. This for the first time in 61-year-long history of Pakistan, brings Awami National Party (ANP) led government in power in NWFP.

The ANP rise to the power marked the end of hardliner religious alliance Mutthahida Majlis Amal (MMA) five years rule in the province, who came to the power after sweeping 2002 polls after the US invasion of Afghanistan.

ANP banked on the wave of militancy in the province during the election campaign and promised to bring back peace to the province. The party gained nearly 30 seats in the provincial legislature and formed a coalition government with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

However, the triumph of regionalist party is significant in the sense that public gave a clear verdict that and a reminder of politics of consolidation and integration within a nation plagued by the political and internal chaos.

ANP‘s romance, with its irredentist past seems to be over and the party has now representation in the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies as well.

— In the following photo, ANP‘s candidate, Mr Aqil Shah is seen offering sweets to his wife in Peshawar after winning the elections 2008 —

Aqil Shah Pakistan

ANP is the continuation of the Khudai Khidmatgar Tehrik launched by the Abdul Ghaffar Khan or popularly known as Baacha Khan for the reformation of Pakhtoon society and for this purpose he established a Madrassah in his native town Utmanzai Charsadda in 1930s. Baccha Khan also known as Sarhadi Gandhi was a pro-congress politician, who fought to drive the British out of subcontinent.

ANP is the successor of the defunct National Awami Party (NAP), established in July 1957 in Dhakka, by the Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Mir Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo, Ghulam Murtaza Syed, Mian Mahmood Ali Qasuri, Maulana Abdul Hameed Bhashani and Professor Muzaffar Ahmed.

However, in October 1958 after the Ayub Khan‘s martial law NAP leaders were put behind the bars and political parties banned.

NAP split into two factions in 1964, over the issue of extending support to Ayub during the presidential elections.

The Wali Khan faction, which is the parent of the present ANP, supported Mohtarama Fatima Jinnah; while the Maulana Bhashani led faction, cantered in East Pakistan, supported Ayub.

After the disintegration of Pakistan in 1971, NAP formed governments in Balochistan and NWFP; but Bhutto dissolved Balochistan coalition government under Ataullah Mengal in May 1973. In protest, the NWFP government also resigned. In 1975 NAP was banned after the killing of Bhutto close aide Hayat Mohammad Khan Sherpao and thousands of party workers including its chief Wali Khan were put behind bars on the charges of treason in a special court named Hyderabad trial. They were released after the fall of Bhutto in a coup in 1997 by Ziaul Haq and the case was withdrawn.

Sardar Sherbaz Mazari established a new party on its ruins by the name of National Democratic Party (NDP); however, the Baloch and the Frontier nationalists parted their ways in 1979.

— Photo to the right shows Sardar Sherbaz Mazari with Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1977 —

The nationalists once again gathered in Karachi in 1986 in Karachi to launch a new political party named ANP with Wali Khan as its president.

The ANP has been a part of the different ruling coalition in the province during 1970, 1990 and 1997 with JUI, PML while it was partner of PPP in power in NWFP twice in 1988 and 1993. During its coalition with various political parties the ANP did not opt for chief minister’s slot but had powerful ministries.

The party had promised peace to the people of province, plagued by the militancy in its election campaign and their biggest challenge is to bring back peace.

In this regard they have also offered talks to the Taliban militants and it would be clear within few months that whether their first government would be successful or they are also going to be routed in next elections like their MMA predecessors.

Author is a Staff Reporter for Daily Times, Peshawar Bureau.

Photo Credits: and Dr. Ghulam Nabi Kazi

Previous ATP Post on Similar Topic: ANP-PkMAP alliance and Elections 2008: Electainment

9 responses to “ANP Chief Minister Makes History in NWFP”


    I think that ANP should use this opportunity to become a national party like MQM is becoming. Their message of progressive politics will find support elsewhere too but they should try to expand.

  2. Aslam says:

    I am glad progressive forcesare winning again.

  3. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:

    Problem with ANP is that like PPP the party is a ‘family enterprise’. Wali Khan, Nasim Wali Khan, Asfandiyar Wali Khan and his sons, Amir Haider Hoti all are children, grand children and great-grand children of Khan Abdul Gafar Khan and his brother Dr. Khan Sahab.

    The biggest question is that how come party leadership always stays only in the hands of the same family?

    Also one hopes that the ‘family’ has gotten over its ‘pashtoonistan syndrome’ and the party will one day transform itself from a pashtoon-ethnic to a Pakistan-national party. Party’s representation in Sindh and Balochistan is a welcome sign but unfortunately these seats are also gained on ethnic-based politics representing pashtoon migrant workers in the lower provinces. ANP has yet to make inroads in non-pashtoon-population areas of the country.

  4. MB says:

    A good overview on ANP. ANP seems to follow the progressive mindset and keep this in mind one can say that there are positive signs if they stay for 5 years. I am 90-99% confident that if they can resolve the governance and economy related issues people will automatically divert from the extremists to more progressive side.

  5. Owais Mughal says:

    I like it that democracy seem to work well in NWFP. The parties that didn’t deliver in 90s got routed in 2002 election and the coalition that didn’t deliver in 2002-07 got routed in 2008. If the system of regular elections continues, it will filter out non-performers.

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