Pakistani version of Aam Admi launched

Published: March 17, 2014
What is to be seen is whether this former bureaucrat can weave the Kejriwal magic in the hotly contested environs of political Islamabad. PHOTO:

What is to be seen is whether this former bureaucrat can weave the Kejriwal magic in the hotly contested environs of political Islamabad. PHOTO:

ISLAMABAD: Meet Adnan Randhawa. You probably don’t know who he is. Just like a few months ago, you didn’t know who Arvind Kejriwal was – the doyen of India’s Aam Admi Party (AAP).

Randhawa is a 34-year-old former deputy information secretary of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and former high-achieving bureaucrat who is all set to launch his own local version of the AAP – a party which burst onto the Indian political scene by sweeping to power in Delhi just a few months ago.

Far from a household name, yet possessed by an indomitable household vision, Randhawa resigned from his post as deputy information secretary of the PTI in March after becoming disillusioned with the party over what he termed continued violations of party laws by its leadership.

This is not the first time the unassuming and soft-spoken young man from Burewala has resigned from a post in protest. Like Kejriwal, Randhawa too was once a bureaucrat. He quit the Foreign Services of Pakistan in protest against the release of CIA operator Raymond Davis while he was posted in China, and joined the PTI in 2011.

In fact, he has been a serial resigner-protester of sorts – which is perhaps the only thing mildly extraordinary about him. Having protested the unconstitutional formation of the party’s Core Committee and vociferously opposed the dissolution of PTI’s elected party set-up in Balochistan by Jehangir Tareen (who he termed an unconstitutional secretary-general of the party), Randhawa now has a new project. Randhawa says his disillusionment began when the PTI started to recruit and propel “old faces of the old order” despite promising new results and fresh faces.

Randhawa now says that he has closely studied the AAP of India, and wants to model his party around it – though stressing that his party AAPP has no connection to AAP. But Randhawa will have his work cut out. Without a political background and hailing from the middle class, he will be an outsider in Pakistan’s politics – a nonentity.

Unfazed, a boisterous Randhawa insists that the “moral appeal” of his party will be enough. Optimistic, Randhawa is upbeat about his party’s prospects and points to a trend towards fighting the status quo in the region. He doesn’t have the money to back a powerful campaign but insists that it really doesn’t cost much to run a party. “Jazba hai toh paisa nahi chahiyay,” he says. “It costs Rs3,000 for a demonstration if you really want it,” he adds, without batting an eyelash. He feels the concept (and the name) of the Aam Admi party and what it stands for should be enough. What is to be seen is whether this former bureaucrat can weave the Kejriwal magic in the hotly contested environs of political Islamabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • pakiboy
    Mar 17, 2014 - 4:19AM

    LOL..welcome sir, welcome


  • Usman
    Mar 17, 2014 - 5:07AM

    AAP was successful in Indian because there was no third option to the two giants. In Pakistan, PTI is and will always be, the party that holds the other two to account, and hence, there is no space for another AAP in Pakistan. Randhawa is welcome to give it a shot though. We wish him best of luck.


  • Zohair
    Mar 17, 2014 - 5:29AM

    Godspeed! I hope you live up to the name of your party in its truest spirit, even in the face of challenges that may tempt you to do so otherwise, and give in to the status quo.


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Mar 17, 2014 - 8:14AM

    Anyone who ever trusted Imran Khan and joined PTI has proved that he or she has no political sense.


  • AAPtard
    Mar 17, 2014 - 8:31AM

    Firstly, hearty congratulations to the Pakistani Aam Admi Party (PAAP)!

    Secondly, when I look at Kejriwal and Pakistan, I am awestruck by the similarities between the two.

    Thridly, I look forward to the day when Kejriwal will go to Pakistan.


  • Ahmed
    Mar 17, 2014 - 9:30AM

    Adnan Randhawa joined PTI in 2011 and in such a less time he was given such important post of deputy information secretary which shows that pti did recognized his importance. the reason that he stated for leaving pti is not convincing because pti Core Committee was formed after intra party election in march 2013 and PTI Baluchistan set up dissolution notification was taken back by imran khan himself.


  • pakistani
    Mar 17, 2014 - 9:36AM

    oh not another one. we have already in thousands.


  • Mar 17, 2014 - 9:45AM

    Pakistan Aam Aadmi Party – P-AAP for short.


  • Digvijay
    Mar 17, 2014 - 10:35AM

    Just because India could eliminate polio does not mean Pakistan can do it. Just because India could send a mission to mars does not mean Pak can do it too. Things work in India because it has a democratic fabric nurtured over the decades, resulting in a much more educated, liberal and secular population open to real changes. Merely copying India at a cosmetic level without the right environment at grassroots will not be sustainable. AAPP wont last long. Its only a matter of time before this guy is taken out by some target killers during a protest.


  • Omer
    Mar 17, 2014 - 11:24AM

    Efforts by status quo parties–PML N and PPP–to undercut the challenger PTI are bearing fruit. How PTI adjusts to such strategies is to be seen.


  • Koogee
    Mar 17, 2014 - 11:34AM

    Good luck. Time always teaches doe eyed idealists some ruthless pragmatism.


  • Ali
    Mar 17, 2014 - 11:56AM

    Ouch…seems like Randhawa sb. took his party’s decision to not to give him ticket for contesting Islamabad’s constituency to heart!


  • Hira
    Mar 17, 2014 - 1:20PM

    protesting, quitting, resigning wont take him anywhere…it will be interesting to watch him quitting AAP for whatsoever reason. Quitters dont get much instead of bashing their heads here and there, eventually ending up alone. Come one brilliant guy!!! wanna challenge the status quo?? Use some intellect, put down your view point and make your party understand WHY they should listen to you…convince them, do not just Quit and Protest; it wont bring any change.


  • Pakistani
    Mar 17, 2014 - 1:47PM

    Now every person of Pakistan want be become politician without any management skill, knowledge , information. ONLY for corruption.
    – PTI is too failed in KPK
    – PMLN too have lot of problems
    – PPPP is only for corruption
    – MQM NO comment(everybody knows)

    Daily one Skeikh Rasheed born & start hist won party & start criticizing other people.


  • Ali
    Mar 17, 2014 - 1:58PM

    The state lost a great actor the day Adnan decided to join politics.


  • Farzan
    Mar 17, 2014 - 3:10PM

    Welcome sir.
    we need more people like you!


  • Fayyaz Yaseen
    Mar 17, 2014 - 7:13PM

    Every Pakistani with a reliable political sense of judgment knows, in the heart of their hearts, that you are right, that Khan is fast becoming a farce, and that, the party claiming change itself needs change before it enforces it elsewhere in the country. Just like you, I too, along with a number of friends, regret voting for IK, but that doesnt mean we favour any of the already existing idiots. We are with you, and will remain with you, contributing through all means necessary. Best of luck, may Allah Help you in this endeavor.


  • lol
    Mar 17, 2014 - 7:33PM

    if i die of laughter then pakistan shall be solely responsible…..


  • Mar 17, 2014 - 7:50PM

    Good Luck Adnan. Hope you will create and grow a better alternative of political parties of Pakistan.


  • Another North Indian
    Mar 18, 2014 - 1:07AM

    Best wishes to PAAPis. Please don’t forget the “I am a PAAPI” caps!


  • Maqsood Arshad
    Apr 6, 2014 - 9:25AM

    I welcome formation of Aam Admi Party particularly because it is formed by an educated selfless person who has the desire & commitment to work for his country which is missing in the existing political parties (PTI being an exception as we don’t know about it).
    Mr Randawa, we definitely support you and wish you best wishes.


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