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Saturday, 14 September 2013

Dr AQ Khan dissolves party: Report by The Express Tribune

Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan dissolves party, writes to the election commission to delist Tehreek-e-Tahaffuz Pakistan. PHOTO: FILE


Father of Pakistan's nuclear programme Dr Abdul Qadir Khan has dissolved his political party Tehreek-e-Tahaffuz Pakistan (TTP).

Sources claim that the security establishment forced Khan to refrain from politics, a question Khan evaded.

"Yes, I dissolved TTP," Khan told The Express Tribune. "It was impossible for me to run my party affairs anymore," he said without explaining the matter further.

Around a year after launching his own party, Dr AQ Khan wrote to the Election Commission of Pakistan on Friday to delist TTP, the newly registered political party.

The security agencies were not happy with Khan's excessive movement, a close associate of Khan claimed.

Dr Khan, who was conveyed by the government earlier this year to restrain his political activities, claimed that he voluntarily announced to dissolve his party.

Established in July 2012, the TTP failed to gain political ground among the masses. Political pundits said though Dr Khan carries enormous respect among the people for his invaluable commitment and service to the country, the launching of TTP was an unwise decision.

Khan said that he would not join any political party despite receiving invitations from various politicians. "I'll not join any political party," he reiterated. "I asked my party workers to join any political party working for the cause of making Pakistan prosperous."

Khan, who launched TTP to create political awareness amongst the youth regarding who to vote for and who not to vote for, will now engage himself in public welfare works—education and health.

Khan through his TTP aimed to defend Pakistan's geographic boundaries and to develop strong socio-economic principles. By accepting this challenge, Dr Khan also had rejected offer of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan to become his party patron-in-chief.

To some observers the impression of any pressure from security establishment on Khan to shelve his party was not correct as he has no such political weight. "Dr Khan, through TTP, wanted to remain in political limelight," observed senior political analyst Dr Ayesha Siddiqa.

Khan was inspired by the political rise of his Indian counterpart Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who served as president. He started work to launch his own political party when Islamabad High Court in 2009 declared Khan a free citizen. Before that, he had been under house arrest since 2004 after reportedly confessing to charges related to transfer of nuclear technology to some other countries. The then president Pervez Musharraf, however, pardoned him. As Musharraf resigned as president, Dr AQ Khan recanted his confession and maintained that the confession was not of his own free will.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2013.

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