Pervez Musharraf announced grand alliance of 23 political parties
11 November, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Former president Pervez Musharraf on Friday announced a ‘grand alliance’ of 23 political parties that will operate under the umbrella of the Pakistan Awami Itehad (PAI), a private TV channel reported.
With central office in Islamabad, the alliance will be headed by Musharraf, while Iqbal Dar has been appointed the secretary-general.
The political parties that have already joined the PAI include the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), the Pakistan Awami Tehreek, Sunni Itehad Council, Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen, Pakistan Sunni Tehreek, Muslim Conference (Kashmir), PML-Junejo, PML-Council, PML- National, Awami League, Pak Muslim Alliance, Pakistan Mazdoor Ittehad, Conservative Party, Muhajir Ittehad Tehreek, Pakistan Insani Huqooq Party, Millat Party, Jamiat Ulma Pakistan (Niazi Group), Aam Loug Party, Aam Admi Party, Pakistan Masawat Party, Pakistan Minority Party, Jamiat Mashaikh Pakistan, Social Justice Democratic Party.
Addressing a teleconference in this regard, Musharraf denied persistent rumours that he had wished to lead the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), claiming that it was ridiculous to think that he would want to be head of a ‘minor, ethnic party’.
“MQM-Pakistan is merely half of what the [original] party once used to be,” he said. “I am concerned about [the internal problems] of the party; however, I have no interest in replacing Farooq Sattar or Mustafa Kamal even if their parties are united,” he insisted. Criticising the MQM, Musharraf said that the party and the muhajir community have lost respect. The muhajir community would do better to abandon ethnic politics and join the PAI, he said.
He expressed the hope that Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi would join his grand alliance as well.
The former president also advised Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to ‘join hands with a group that would take Pakistan forward’, while accusing him of only thinking about his own party (PTI). Musharraf said the PML-N and the PPP were destroying the country and that the people should get rid of such forces. He said if elections do not solve the issues facing Pakistan, then other measures need to be taken to bring the country ‘on track’.
The former president added that the army and the Supreme Court should only be concerned about Pakistan. Musharraf, who was charged with treason by a special court and was declared an absconder in the Benazir Bhutto murder case in August this year, claimed that he was ready to face all charges as the courts are not under “Nawaz Sharif’s control anymore”.