ISLAMABAD - Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, a veteran politician from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, has reorganised the party under new nomenclature of Qoumi Watan Party with main aim to provide a proper platform to Pashtun nationals to present their case in the changed environment and fight for their due rights.

In an exclusive chat with TheNation, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, who had parted ways with Ms Benazir Bhutto in mid-90s and formed his own faction of Pakistan People’s Party, gave a detailed view of his decision to transform his PPP-S into Qoumi Watan Party with focus on highlighting the problems facing the Pashtun nationals, especially in the face of the war on terror and the ongoing unrest in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and adjoining tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

Responding to a question about the rationale behind changing the name of party and its manifesto Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao said that unfortunately the parties, which claimed to be the champion of Pashtuns rights, had miserably failed to even give them any representation what to speak of fighting their case at any forum. To fill in the chasm he decided to revamp his party with new name and new ideology to fight the case of Pashtuns and highlight the soft, democratic and enlightened face of the Pashtuns, who otherwise carry connotation of terrorists and suicide bombers.

He disagreed with the impression that this step on his part has reduced his party to regional level with ethnic imprints and quickly added that their idea received wide approval from the people of Balochistan, tribal areas and even Karachi, as Pashtuns across the country are joyous over the move, as the vast majority of progressive and enlightened Pashtuns are looking for some platform from where they could raise their voice and present their case not only before the nation but to the whole world.

To a question he said that with this new face and progressive agenda for the welfare of the Pashtuns, who are facing the brunt of war on terror for well over a decade for none of their fault, he would be expecting good prospects for the party in the upcoming general elections not only in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa but hopeful of making inroads in Pashtun-dominated areas of Balochistan and port city of Karachi.

To a question about entering into electoral alliance or seat adjustment with other political parties, Sherpao has said that it is premature to comment on it but quickly added that he was in contact with other political players but the decision to enter into some sort of electoral alliance would be made once the caretaker setup would be on ground.

To a question President of Qoumi Watan Party said that elections should be held on time, as according to him it was the only way to take the country forward on road to progress and prosperity and would strengthen the institutions. He further said that the delay in elections would have disastrous consequences for all, so everybody should play his role in smooth transfer of power to the next government.