‘Disgraced’ Pak nuclear scientist AQ Khan registers political party for 2013 elections

Islamabad, Nov. 29 (ANI): Disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, has registered his political party to contest general elections for the first time next year, according to officials.

In July, he set up the 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, according to The News.

A spokesman for the Election Commission of Pakistan said that SPM was among 19 new political parties whose registration was recently approved.

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 is yet to decide whether to stand 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. 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,” Zaman said.

Many Pakistanis regard 76-year-old Khan as a hero for building the Muslim world’s first atomic bomb, but in the West he is considered a dangerous renegade since admitting in 2004 to selling nuclear secrets on the black market.

Khan admitted to selling nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea, but later retracted his remarks.

In 2009, he was freed from house arrest in the capital Islamabad, although he remains under pressure from the authorities to keep a low profile. (ANI)

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