Reposing confidence in the leadership of seer politician Pir Pagara, different factions of the Pakistan Muslim League have merged to form a Muttahida (United) Muslim League.
They have also constituted a 13-member committee to approach the Nawaz League and the PML-Q to win them over. Former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali will be the convener of the committee.
All factions of the Muslim League unanimously named Pir Pagara as the chief of the united League. The Chaudhrys of Gujrat were conspicuous by their absence.
The merger of Leagues was announced at a news conference at the Kingri House, the residence of Pir Pagara, in Karachi on Friday.
Speaking to journalists, Pagara said that all factions of the Muslim League have realised that their merger is essential for the greater good of the country.
“After the merger, the new party will be called Muttahida Muslim League,” he said. “All component parties will continue to exist until legal formalities are completed.”
When quizzed about the absence of PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Pagara said he had spoken to him by telephone, “but it seems as if his younger Chaudhry (Chaudhry Perwaiz Elahi) has some memory problem”. Pagara, however, predicted that the Chaudhrys would come back soon.
Asked about Nawaz Sharif, Pagara said he has no contact with the two-time premier. However, he added that he would try to bring him into the new party.
Pagara also disclosed that he had not contacted former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in connection with the new League. “First, he (Musharraf) should become a Muslim Leaguer and then the council (steering committee) may decide about his induction into the United Muslim League,” Pagara said in a lighter mood.
Replying to a question, Pagara said his PML-F would remain a coalition partner in Sindh as well as at the Centre.
The seer politician said that their new party would try to win the next general elections and form the government.
Appearing with Pagara at the news conference, former premier Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali said that he was upbeat about the success of the new League. He added that politics of victimisation would not serve anybody.
Under the 18th constitutional amendment, the condition of intra-party election has been dropped. And Jamali said this would make the party heads all-powerful, who could kick out anybody from their respective parties. Jamali called upon other factions of the League to unite as the country was facing a number of challenges.
Hamid Nasir Chattha of the PML-Likeminded Group, on the occasion, said that the country’s economic situation is fragile while inflation was going out of control.
“The electricity and gas crises are deepening by the day. And in such a precarious situation it’s need of the hour that all Muslim Leaguers unite to steer the country out of troubled waters,” Chattha added.
Attendees at the meeting also included PML-Zia chief Ejazul Haq, Awami Muslim League head Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and PML-Likeminded Group’s leaders Humayun Akhtar, Salim Saifullah, Khursheed Kasuri and PML-Q’s founder Mian Azhar. (With additional input from Online)
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2010.