Says she is old but passionate about solving problems of her people.
CHARSADDA: The widow of Wali Khan and stepmother of Awami National Party (ANP) leader Asfandyar Wali Khan, Begum Naseem Wali Khan has decided to take part in active politics, Express News reported on Sunday.
Speaking to journalists, Naseem said she is old but passionate about solving problems of her people. She asked youth to help her with her mission.
Criticising the leadership of ANP particularly Azam Hoti, Ameer Haider Hoti and Asfandyar, Naseem said that Asfandyar has disappointed the party members.
She called upon ANP members to come forward and support her. “There will be no place for corrupt leaders in my party,” she stressed, adding that she will call a jirga soon and announce party leadership.
Earlier this year, Naseem had emerged from years of political hiatus with a firebrand comeback. She had lashed out at her stepson and blamed him for the ANP’s dismal performance in the general elections.
Begum Naseem led the party – then known as the National Awami Party (NAP) – in the mid-70s when Wali Khan was imprisoned by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. She was also an active partner of the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) and was said to be among those, like Asghar Khan, who supported Zia-ul-Haq’s regime. Some even claimed Bacha Khan disliked her and that her presence was owed to her husband’s influence.
Apart from winning a general seat in the K-P Assembly and being the first woman to do so in 1977, she was elected as an MPA in 1988, 1990 and 1993.
Once considered to be the most powerful woman in the ANP, Begum Naseem served as the party’s provincial president for a long time before she was asked to leave the party in 2007. Following a defeat in the 2002 elections by the alliance of religious parties under the banner of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), Begum faced similar criticism over what she now blames Asfandyar for.
Following her ouster, Afrasiab Khattak was made the party’s provincial president and Begum Naseem reluctantly left the political stage.