All is not well in the alphabet soup known as the Muslim League. A chunk of the PML(Q) wants to be back in the PML(N), which doesnt want all of them. The PML(F) is, for the moment, with the bit that doesnt want to be in the PML(N). There is another bit of the PML(Q) that wants to join the new, shiny and laughable APML. Then there is the PML(Q)-LM, ironically known as the Like Minded group, some of whom want to go to the PML(N), some want to go to the APML and a third faction within called the Forward Bloc that is open to be courted by the PPP on the national level. Yes, you need a diagram to figure all of this out.

The Chaudhrys of Gujarat are in such a bad shape in the scheme of things that even the skills of Shujaat, that master of the deal, that skillful craftsman, might not be able to get them out of this one. They have angrily distanced themselves away from their two senators who met with the N League leadership. They did not consult us before meeting them, they say; well, they dont consult us before doing anything either, comes the response. All these public squabbles are but natural; no one expected the PML(Q) to have a life longer than a Hollywood marriage considering this alliance was cobbled together for one thing alone: to keep a uniformed Musharraf in power. Now that that isnt the case anymore, the Q is falling like the proverbial house of cards.

Meanwhile, the grand old Pir of Pakistani politics is set to go to Lahore after a long, long time to convince Nawaz Sharif to join up as well. If the latter does join, it will not only be the ultimate anti-PPP alliance but also one of the most devoid-of-ideology political parties ever. Even by Muslim League standards.