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Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan Registered a Political Party

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan Political Party

Pakistan News / Dr. AQ Khan Political Party > The father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb has registered a new political party to contest general elections for the first time expected next year, officials said Wednesday.

Many Pakistanis regard Abdul Qadeer Khan, 76, as a hero for building the Muslim world’s first atomic bomb but in the West he is considered a dangerous renegade since admitting in 2004 to selling nuclear secrets on the black market.

In July, he set up Tehreek-e-Tahafuzz Pakistan or Save Pakistan Movement (SPM) to contest the 2013 elections and to campaign for an end to endemic corruption.

But attendance at his public meetings has been sparse and Khan is unlikely to emerge a serious contender at the ballot box despite his popularity.

A spokesman for the Election Commission of Pakistan confirmed to AFP that SPM was among 19 new political parties whose registration was approved on Tuesday.

The election is expected to mark the first time that a democratically elected civilian government in Pakistan completes a full term in office and hands over to a new, elected administration.

SPM secretary general Chaudhry Khurshid Zaman said Khan had yet to decide whether to stand himself for election but that as chairman, he would guide the party through the campaign.

“Our party has been registered, we will take part in the elections with full strength,” Zaman told AFP.

“The whole country is burning, price hikes, unemployment, the energy crisis, poverty and other heinous problems have made public life miserable.

“Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has joined politics to change this face of Pakistan and he is the only hope. All other political parties have failed.”

No date has been announced for the polls, but state media has quoted Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira as saying they would be held in May.

Rohail Akbar, an SPM spokesman, said the party would form an alliance with right-wing parties, but not those in government or main opposition party Pakistan Muslim League-N headed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Khan admitted to selling nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea, but later retracted his remarks.

In 2009, he was freed from house arrest in the capital Islamabad, although he remains under pressure from the authorities to keep a low profile. (AFP)

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