AQ Khan not contesting vote: party

29 Mar 2013


Many Pakistanis regard Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan as a hero for building Pakistan's nuclear bomb. —File Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is regarded as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, has decided not to contest general elections in May, but will support his party and its allies on the campaign trail, a party spokesman said Friday.

Many Pakistanis regard Abdul Qadeer Khan, 76, as a hero for building Pakistan’s atomic bomb.

Khan last November registered his Tehrik-i-Tahaffuz-i-Pakistan or Save Pakistan Movement to contest general elections for the first time and was allotted the symbol of a missile on request.

“Doctor Abdul Qadeer Khan will not take part in the election, but he will continue to befittingly support his party and its allies,” party spokesman Rohail Akbar said in a statement.

“The party candidates and our allies have obtained nomination papers and they will stand for election in all parts of Pakistan,” Akbar said.

The party is campaigning on a ticket to end corruption, inflation and power cuts, but is not expected to win many votes.

The May 11 vote stands to mark the first democratic transition of power in Pakistani history, which has been dominated by four military rulers.