Musharraf eyeing alliance of three PML factions

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After a silent demise of recently formed four-party alliance of PML factions, the Muttahida Muslim League (MML), former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf is eyeing to form an alliance of his party – the All Pakistan Muslim League – with PML-Functional of Pir Pagara and PML-Likeminded of Hamid Nasir Chattha.
“General (r) Pervez Musharraf is trying to bring three factions of Muslim League – the APML, PML-F and PML-Likeminded – at one platform. In the first phase, these parties will forge an alliance that can lead to a merger,” a source in the APML said. He said Musharraf had started consultation with his aides and leaders of the PML-F and PML-Likeminded after the silent disintegration of MML.
The source said Musharraf had discussed the idea recently with Younis Sain, son of Pir Pagara and with Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood, central leader of the PML-F, who called on the former president in Dubai. “Senator SM Zafar and PML-Q MNA Shahnaz Sheikh also met Musharraf in the UAE. After the formation of the three party alliance consisting of the APML, PML-F and PML-Likeminded, a number of PML-Q leaders, parliamentarians, former district and tehsil nazims would be joining the proposed alliance,” the source added.
The four factions of Muslim League – the PML-F, PML-Likeminded, PML-Zia and Awami Muslim League – had joined hands to form the MML under the banner of Pir Pagara’s Functional League, but the alliance died its own death when the heads of two major factions of Muslim League, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Nawaz Sharif, flatly refused to become the part of the PML unification move.
“In October last year, Musharraf also expressed his willingness to become part of the MML, but opposition from Sheikh Rashid, Ijazul Haq, Mian Azhar and Humayun Akhtar Khan blocked his way, as they believed Musharraf’s presence in the alliance could scuttle the PML unification move. They said Musharraf’s inclusion would lead to the alliance losing the support of Nawaz and Shujaat,” an APML leader said, adding that Musharraf had taken the decision of forming the alliance of three parties after seeing the demise of the MML.
The source said a number of PML-Q leaders, including some former MPAs, would visit the UAE soon to meet Musharraf. “Though some members of PML-Likeminded are opposing the move, a majority is still affiliated with the former president…..PML-Likeminded President Salim Saifullah is also resisting the new move,” he added. The source said Musharraf was also willing to form an electoral alliance with Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and had asked his party leaders to develop cordial relations with PTI office bearers.