Political landscape shifts as Miftah Ismail and Shahid Khaqan launch new party

The 'Awaam Pakistan' party plans to formally launch with 17 founding members in early July

News Desk June 21, 2024
Political landscape shifts as Miftah and Shahid Khaqan launch 'Awaam Pakistan’ party


After much anticipation, "Awaam Pakistan," a new political entity, emerged onto Pakistan's political scene.

A video shared on Awaam Pakistan's official platform featured disheartened citizens addressing national issues such as inflation, energy shortages, corruption, unemployment, and educational disparities.

The party is led by former PML-N leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Miftah Ismail. Both leaders left PML-N due to policy disagreements and initiated discussions nationwide in 2023 under the banner 'Reimagining Pakistan.' Abbasi heads the organising committee, with Miftah as his deputy.

Miftah emphasized that political engagement shouldn't be limited to traditional figures like Nawaz Sharif or Asif Ali Zardari, suggesting that non-traditional entities can also drive change.

Notable figures from various backgrounds, including former PML-N stalwarts and professionals, have joined Awaam Pakistan.

According to the former finance minister, the party’s org­a­nising committee included former Khy­ber-Pakhtunkhwa governor and PML-N leader Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, former PML-N Senator Javed Abbassi and former MQM MNA Sheikh Salahuddin.

The founding members include for­mer PML-N MNA from Faisalabad Rana Zahid Tauseef, former health minister Zafar Mirza, former PML-N MPA Zaeem Huss­ain Qadri, Hazara activist Fatima Atif, Sindhi nat­ionalist leader Anwar Soo­mro, legal expert Abdul Moiz Jaferii and ex-HEC chairman Tariq Javed Banuri.

The party plans to formally launch with 17 founding members on July 6 or 7. Abbasi highlighted their focus on recruiting professionals and experts rather than traditional "electables," aiming to enrich political discourse with diverse expertise.

Regarding relations with the establishment, Abbasi affirmed adherence to constitutional norms, emphasizing a principled approach.

On April 8, former premier Abbasi approached the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the registration of a new political party.

In December last year, the former premier announced that he will not participate in the upcoming general elections.

In August, he took aim at his own government for eroding people’s trust in the system, calling the National Assembly of that time the worst in the country’s history.

Later on May 13, Miftah also announced forming a new party, which has yet to be named. In an op-ed published in an English-language daily he said new party would be of “a different kind” and its leadership would comprise of “women and young people” and would also constitutionally mandate term limits for party leaders.

He added that the party would avoid targeting one province or ethnic group and would not rely on the dynastic or family politics that dominated its contemporaries.

Miftah wrote that the impetus for forming his new party was the need to “radically restructure our governance”. “We are fast reaching the point of no return — and it is imperative we take a hard look at our ineffective governance that has failed our people,” he mentioned.

He deemed Pakistan’s current political leaders “out-of-touch and short-sighted” with regard to Pakistan’s future. “I am sorry to say they lack both the courage and the competence to change the course of this country,” Miftah said.

The former finance minister stated that Pakistan needed to be run by individuals with a track record of integrity, competence and results, emphasising that younger people would make up the core of the party’s leadership and public appeal.


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