PESHAWAR – Pakistan People’s Party-Sherpao (PPP-S) Chairman, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao will formally announce a new name for his party, while changing its flag and manifesto, at a function scheduled for today (Wednesday).

The PPP-S would be replaced with its new name ‘Qaumi Watan Party’, the basic aim of which would be to protect Pakhtuns’ rights, stop bloodshed and restore peace on their soil. It could be called a Pakhtun nationalist party, as several nationalist figures have joined the party, and many more would do so in future.

After its formal approval from both central and provincial executive councils, PPP-S Chief Aftab Sherpao will unveil new name of the party, its flag and manifesto. Almost three to four names were recommended to approve one of them as a new name for the party, however after developing a consensus, the new name of the party would be ‘Qaumi Watan Party’.    

The party would not be restricted to KPK and Fata, but would have an effective organisational structure in Balochistan, Sindh and other parts of the country where the Pakhtuns live. The PPP-S having tri-colour flag-red, black and green, will have a similar tri-colour flag only replacing green colour with ‘while’ a symbol of peace. The party central and provincial councils were unanimous to retain its old party electoral symbol lamp (Chiragh). Besides remaining, certain changes have also been made in its manifesto.

Sensing the situation that other Pakhtun nationalist parties whether it is the ruling Awami National Party (AN) or Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) have done nothing for brining prosperity and eradicating backwardness in areas where Pakhtuns live. Thus, two-time ex chief minister and former interior minister Aftab Sherapo made up his mind to renaming his party mainly focusing on Pakhtuns’ issues. Apparently Aftab Sherpao sees a place for Pakhtun nationalist politics he wants to fill this gap.

In his statements Mr Sherpao without naming ANP has time and again said that a so-called Pakhtun nationalist party had disappointed the Pakhtun nation that pinned all their hopes on them for protection their rights. Aftab Sherpao has served two-times chief minister of the province and both the times on PPP tickets.

After having differences developed between PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto and Senior Leader Aftab Ahmad Sherpao in 1999 and the latter was expelled from the PPP by the former. Thus, Sherpao formed his own faction PPP (Sherpao) just before 2002 general elections,

The PPP-S won two seats in the National Assembly and 10 seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly in the 2002 general election and also secured two seats in the Senate. The party won a single National Assembly seat from Charsadda and six provincial assembly seats in the 2008 general elections but had no member in the Upper House of the Parliament this time.