With election fever gripping the politically astute across the country, Dr Abdul Qadir Khan, renowned as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, is all set to launch a nationwide campaign under the banner of Tehreek-e-Tahaffuz Pakistan (TTP). The campaign will be aimed at increasing political awareness amongst the youth in the country.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Dr Khan said, “TTP wants to create political awareness amongst the youth regarding who to vote for and who not to vote for. I will consistently urge youth to elect honest persons in upcoming elections and stand for survival of the country.”
Noting the failure of traditional political parties in delivering on their promises, Dr Khan called a spade a spade by emphasising that his party’s campaign would ask the youth not to vote for traditional parties such as Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Established in July 2012, the TTP has so far gained little political ground among the masses. Political pundits have predicted that while Dr Khan carries enormous respect among the people for his invaluable commitment and service to the country, the TTP is unlikely to gain any significant vote bank or public support.
Dr Khan, who is known to be in contact with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, has demonstrated his preference for emerging political parties such as PTI. His campaign is likely to advocate such platforms as an alternative political choice for the youth.
“Dr Khan’s main objective in launching his political party is to remain in political limelight,” observed senior political analyst Zahid Hussain.
Seemingly inspired by the political rise of his Indian counterpart Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who served as president, political analysts suggest that the TTP would remain a small, insignificant political group such as the Awami Qiadat Party of former army chief General (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg.
“Such initiatives are a product of political ambition and personal whims. It will be an addition to the many rightwing outfits which brood on a false sense of glory,” added political analyst and poet Harris Khalique.
In an attempt to start party organisation Dr Khan has reportedly held meetings with former army chief Aslam Beg, former prime minister Azad Kashmir Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan, former ministers Ghulam Sarwar Cheema and Malik Ameen Aslam.
Party workers, while talking to The Express Tribune have said that the TTP is unique in so far as it is a guidance movement for patriotic youth, adding that well-known traders across the country, particularly Karachi, have pledged financial support for Dr Khan’s initiative.
The party, which has started its campaign through a Facebook page, has so far drawn 21 supporters. However, party workers are confident that as the party starts opening its provincial offices, the movement will gain momentum among the populace as Dr Khan supports the campaign through public appearances, columns, and television and radio programs.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2012.