ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan. – A file photo

PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan on Monday expressed support of his party to the announcement of the government to grant Pakistani citizenship to Afghan refugees and Bengalis.

Addressing a press conference in Peshawar, Asfandyar said it was a humanitarian issue as the third generation of Afghans was born and raised in Pakistan. He said citizenship to Afghans will not affect the rights of other communities.

He argued that the people who came from India were not only granted citizenship in Pakistan but they also became rulers of the country. He said that citizenship by birth was granted across the world, but Pakistan had some flaws in its system. He said Pakistan should allow Afghan transit trade through Pakistan, improve trade relations with Afghanistan and relax visas.

Asfandyar said the Afghans born in Pakistan shouldn’t be victimised or discriminated against.

The ANP chief said that controversial issues like Kalabagh dam should not be raised again. He said other dams should be constructed. He said that despite strong reservations, his party would contest the upcoming by-polls.