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ISLAMABAD: Abdul Qadeer Khan, 76, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb has registered a new political party to contest for the first time general elections expected next year, officials said yesterday.
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 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 said.
“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.