Rahimdad Khan, PPP leader decides to bid farewell to politics

PESHAWAR: Former provincial president of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and senior minister in the last Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government, Rahimdad Khan, has decided to say goodbye to electoral politics.

Khan stated that he will not be contesting this election, instead, his son Asad Khan will contest from his seat on PK-27.

“The party’s parliamentary board asked me to contest. However, I told them I cannot be a part of electoral politics anymore because it has changed too much,” he said.

There is a lot of leg-pulling now and it is very difficult for me to work with people who engage in dirty politics, Khan asserted.

Talking about his son standing in his place in the election, Khan said: “We old timers cannot adapt to changing times, so it is better to leave it to youngsters who have energy and zeal. My son is competent and the people of the constituency are happy with him.”

Rahimdad’s decision has put an end to a long political career of four decades.

His liaison with politics began back in 1965 as a student, when he drifted into the emotional rhetoric of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. His active political career, however, started in 1968-69 with the PPP.

He contested his first elections in the 1970s for a provincial assembly seat from his hometown of Mardan. Khan lost this election by a small margin. “At that time a party member stood against me as an independent candidate and received 1,500 votes and I missed out by around 200 votes,” Khan recalled. “I was new to politics and thought voters would come to polling stations on their own, whereas my opponent provided them with transport.”

Khan won the 1977 elections and was made deputy speaker of what was then the North West Frontier Province assembly.

Khan won again in 1988. In the early 2000s, Khan served as PPP provincial president for a period of about five years.

In 2008, he won the elections from PK-27, Mardan-V, and served as Senior Minister for the Planning and Development department in the Awami National Party-PPP coalition.

The leader does not feel sad about leaving politics. “I am only saying farewell to electoral politics. I will continue be a politician and will continue to help the party with elections and provide guidance.”