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The Awami National Party (ANP) is a political party in Pakistan. Its main area of electoral influence is in the Pashtun dominated areas of the North-West Frontier Provincemarker (NWFP) but also has good support in Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab. The party has support in the Pashtun-dominated parts of Baluchistan as well. Historically it clams to be a continuation of the National Awami Party and is influenced by the Khudai Khidmatgar movement.

Formation and history

In 1986, the National Democratic Party merged with several other progressive political and nationalist groups to form the Awami National Party. Abdul Wali Khan was elected as its president and Sindhi nationalist Rasul Bakh Palijo was elected its secretary general. The party from 1986-1988 was a member of the Movement for Restoration of Democracy.

The party formed a coalition government with the People's Party in NWFP and Islamabad after the 1988 election. This alliance collapsed in 1989 after differences cropped up between the two parties. After the election of Nawaz Sharif to power after the 1990 elections the ANP again formed a coalition with former rivals Pakistan Muslim League. This alliance proved longer lasting, surviving till 1998 when it collapsed over differences over Kalabagh Dam and renaming the province Pakhtunkhwa. The party then joined the Grand Democratic Alliance, campaigning against the increasingly dictatorial Nawaz Sharif government's policies. After Nawaz Sharif's overthrow by Pervez Musharraf, the party stayed an active member of the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy, until the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001, when it left the alliance over supporting the US ouster of the Taliban. In the 2002 elections the party struck up an alliance with the People's party however both parties were electorally routed in NWFP by the religion-political alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) riding on a wave of anti-American sentiment in Pakistan.

In the 2008 elections the party contested on its own and won a plurality of votes in NWFP as well as winning in Balochistan for the first time in 15 years and Karachi for the first time. It subsequently formed a government in NWFP and is supporting the PPP government in the centre and other provinces.

The strongholds of ANP are in the Pashtun areas of Pakistan, particularly in the Peshawar valley of the North-West Frontier Province, while Karachimarker hosts one of the largest Pashtun populations in the world with 4.0 million Pastuns live in Karachi. In the 2008 election, the ANP won two Sindh assembly seats in Karachi.[20]

Party presidents

The Awami National Party is one fo the few parties in Pakistan to hold a system of regular internal general elections every four year period.

Other leaders


  • Pakhtun Students Federation
  • Malgaree Wakeelan (Lawyers forum)
  • Malgaree Ustazan


The party espouses a liberal pro-Pashtun philosophy advocating regional autonomy and cultural expression. A frequent coalition partner in provincial politics, it was routed in the 2002 elections because of its opposition to the Taliban and support for the US invasion of Afghanistan.

It was targeted in 2007 and 2008 by presumed supporters of the Taliban. Despite the attacks, the party has advocated dialogue with moderate tribal elements to end present violence in the North West Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas. It has rejected foreign interference in the region whether US or Al-Qaeda. Since the 2008 elections the party has been the principal target of Tehreek-e-Taliban militants with over 100 activists by February 2009 having been assassinated by suicide bombers or in target killings. It has also accused the Pakistani establishment of being complicit in allowing the growth of the Tehreek-e-Taliban in Pakistan because of its former support for the fighters.

2008 elections

In the 2008 elections, the Awami National Party beat Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, a party formed by coalition of Islamic movements in 2002. It also won provincial seats in Balochistan and in Sind for the first time. It formed a coalition government with the Pakistan People's Party in all three provinces. In the North-West Frontier Province it has its first Chief minister since 1948.


On May 9, 2008 it was reported by DAWN quoting source from diplomatic sources that Asfandyar Wali Khan that he made a secret visit to the United States in which he made high level contacts with the U.S Central Command. This has led to criticism of the party by conservatives for being pro-American.

It is alleged by opponents that separatist billboards showing up in NWFP province of [Pakistan were erected by Awami National Party .

The party's activists has, as has been previously mentioned been targeted by militants of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

It's activists have also been targeted in the city of Karachimarker during inter ethnic violence allegedly by supporters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

Electoral history

Election National Assembly NWFP Provincial Assembly seats won National percentage of polled votes
2008 13 48 + (2 in karachi) ?
2002 0 7 1.0%
1997 10 32 2.31
1993 03 18 1.67%
1990 06 23 1.68%
1988 02 10 2.80%

See also


External links

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