ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has announced a “grand alliance” of 23 political parties that will operate under the umbrella of the Pakistan Awami Itehad (PAI), DawnNews reported on Friday.
The alliance will be headed by Musharraf, while Iqbal Dar has been appointed Secretary General. The central office of the alliance will be in Islamabad.
Addressing a press conference 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 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 MQM, he said that the party and the muhajir community have lost respect. The muhajir community would do better to abandon ethnic politics and join PAI, he said.
He added that the alliance between MQM and the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) could not last due to a lack of leadership. However, he said, that it would still be better for both MQM and the PSP to form an alliance.
He expressed hope that Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leaders Chaudhry Shujaat and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi would join his grand alliance as well.
The former president also advised Pakistan Tehhreek-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).
The political parties that have already joined 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.