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Afghan delegation arrives in Peshawar, condoles demise of ANP leader Khan Lala

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From our correspondent-PESHAWAR: Awami National Party leader, Asfandyar Wali Khan said that Pakistan and Afghanistan shouldn’t let its soils to be used against each other in order to bring a lasting peace to the troubled region, which has been bearing the brunt of unprecedented violence.

Afghan ambassador at Islamabad, Janan Mosazai, also arrived in Peshawar to meet the delegation.

Addressing a homage-paying gathering held in the memory of late Afzal Khan Lala at the residence of Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, and attended by a high level Afghan delegation, ANP central leader Asfandyar Wali Khan said that peace in Pakistan was not possible sans peace in Afghanistan. He urged that Afghans should also consider this ground reality that peace in Afghanistan too was linked to peace in Pakistan directly and it was a two-way relationship.

Paying rich tribute to the late nationalist leader Afzal Khan Lala, he said that his death was blow to the nationalist movement and the void left by his demise cannot be filled.

“Bacha Khan used to say that violence creates hatred and non-violence ushers in love and it is high time to see towards this philosophy of our great leader in order to solve all these issues,” Asfandyar said.

He said that Hujra and Jirga held a prestigious place in the culture of Pakhthun nation and these institutes should be resuscitated.

Addressing the gathering, Engineer Muhammad Khan, Deputy Chief Executive and head of the Afghan delegation paid homage to the late Afzal Khan Lala. He recalled that Afzal Khan Lala worked for peace all his life.

“Let me assure you that we, the government and people of Afghanistan, stand with the bereaved family in this hour of grief and sorrow,” Khan said. He hoped his family will further the mission of Lala. He said that the Pakthun culture dwells on respect to women, children and elderly and they expect from others to respect them too. He said that they must work together for peace and must not leave space for unrest. Khan led a 46-member delegation including parliamentarians, tribal elders and political leaders.

The incumbent Afghan President Dr. Ashraf Ghani and former Afghan president Hamid Karzai have expressed their grief over the demise of Khan Lala. They termed it a great loss for people of both the neighbouring countries. In separate messages, they paid tributes to the late Afzal Khan aka Khan Lala, who according to them was not only striving for unification of Afghans but had also waged a long struggle for peace restoration and stability in the region.

Dr. Mohammad Ekram Khapalwak, Advisor to President on Tribal and Border Affairs read the message of Afghan President Dr. Ashraf Ghani and Haji Deen Mohammad has read the message of former President Hamid Karzai.

Both of them have recalled memories with late Mohammad Afzal Khan. Dr. Ashraf Ghani through his message informed that a day before his last breath, he had talked to Afzal Khan Lala whereas Hamid Karzai through his message named Mohammad Afzal Khan as his elder and senior.

ANP leader Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, senator Ilyas Bilour, Haroon Bilour, Sardar Hussain Babak, Afrasyab Khattak and others were present on the occasion.