‘Friends’ resisting Musharraf

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ISLAMABAD: Once close confidants of former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf, leaders of various factions of the PML blocked the inclusion of Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) in the newly-formed Muttahida Muslim League (MML).
A source in the MML told Pakistan Today that Musharraf’s party was not allowed to become part of the alliance because Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Ijazul Haq, Salim Saifullah, Humayun Akhtar Khan and Mian Muhammad Azhar strongly resisted the proposal.
However, source said some prominent leaders of the MML have assured the former president of being accommodated in the alliance at an appropriate time. Another source privy to this tacit understanding told Pakistan Today that some leaders of the PML-Q likeminded, including Hamid Nasir Chattha and Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri had advocated Musharraf’s case, but this move was rejected by a majority.
Those who opposed Musharraf’s inclusion were of the view that his inclusion in the MML would stop the PML-N and ‘Q’ from joining this alliance. “The supporters of Musharraf in the MML have also conveyed to him that his party will be accommodated in the MML once the PML-Q and PML-N finally refuse to join the four-party alliance,” the source said.
He said Musharraf’s supporters were confident that ‘Q’ and ‘N’ would never join the MML and the party of the former president would surely become part of the alliance. Another source in the MML told Pakistan Today that some other stalwarts of the MML were against the inclusion of Musharraf’s party in the new alliance, as they argued that it would also scuttle the unification move.
It is relevant to mention that during his visit to Kingri House in September, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain had told PML-F chief Pir Pagara that the PML-Q was against Musharraf’s inclusion in the MML alliance, saying Musharraf’s “baggage was very heavy”.