PESHAWAR: Former federal minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao’s Qaumi Watan Party that had only recently emerged as a force to reckon with, has now been confined to Charsadda’s two tehsils and Mansehra’s naib nazim berth in the entire province.
“Although not many of our councillors won, the party still received votes from across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa,” said QWP Secretary Information Tariq Ahmad Khan.
Only after it cut a deal with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in Charsadda was it able to gain the tehsil nazim seats in Tangi and Shabqadar. On the contrary, it was shouldered by an anti-PTI alliance led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz to the Mansehra naib nazim seat. Apart from these areas, the party was not able to obtain a single administrative office across LG setups of K-P.
After parting ways with Pakistan Peoples Party in 1998, Sherpao formed a splinter group called PPP-Sherpao. The separation was a major setback for PPP that lost its foothold in the province.
Sherpao’s new party did well in the 2001 and 2005 LG elections and also managed to make its way to the provincial and national legislatures. Its workers remained nazims of Charsadda, Nowshera, Malakand, Tank and Hangu and town/tehsil nazims in Buner, Swabi, Swat, Mansehra, DI Khan and other districts. With a reworked vision in mind, Sherpao rebranded the party to QWP in 2010.
2013 general elections helped the party gain considerable ground. However the 2013 LG polls reversed all the progress made by the party. “Things were different in 2001 and 2005 because we were part of an alliance comprising Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid,” said Tariq, adding in 2015 the party faced opposition in shape of two separate alliances led by the ruling and opposition parties respectively.
“The party has still gained ground and performed satisfactorily. We fielded candidates across the province who received a large number of votes.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2015.