Musharraf’s party in disarray


–Former dictator’s APML dissolves party organisations amidst accusations of corruption in election fund 

–Former APML chairman Dr Amjad admits financial embezzlement, says no harm ‘if any party fellow has kept money from election fund’


ISLAMABAD: In wake of the worst-ever defeat of party candidates in recently held General Election 2018 and subsequent allegations of misappropriation of funds allegedly by party’s women leaders, All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) Chairman Dr Amjad has resigned from the party’s office while the party’s central core committee has dissolved all central, provincial, divisional and district organisations, including all specialised and overseas wings, with immediate effect.

According to a notification issued by APML chairman Dr Mohammad Amjad on July 28, 2018, the new set up would be raised in due course of time while all previously signed notifications have also been nullified until further orders.

APML Secretary General Mehreen Malik Adam has also signed the notification, bringing the party to an apparent grinding halt.

It merits mention that Dr Amjad had already sidelined APML founding chief General (r) Pervez Musharraf, who lives in self-exile in Dubai.

Sources in the APML, however, claim that Dr Amjad has resigned from the party and he plans to join Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). In this regard, the sources claimed that Dr Amjad has held two meetings with PTI’s nominated finance minister Asad Umar recently.

Dr Amjad also resigned as APML president on Friday.

The move comes amid allegations of embezzlement of Rs2 billion by Dr Amjad and Mehreen Malik Adam, provided by General Musharraf to spend on the election of APML candidates. The allegation of money was levelled against the female APML leadership by Faisal Babri, an entrepreneur, in a chat group.

“I heard Musharraf gave billions of rupees to his party’s women leadership for APML’s election campaign, and he was expecting at least one seat which APML won back in 2013 from Chitral. The party got 6,000 votes,” wrote Faisal Babri.

Rehan Aslam responded to Babri’s comment saying that “top ladies are members of the group, and friends at least should throw a party to buddies out of those billions if they got any billions.”

Interestingly, Mehreen Malik, during her rejoinder to Faisal Babri’s allegations, chose not to contradict the allegation levelled against her in the group.

Fatima Sikandar Malhi, another key leader of APML, also did not contradict the allegations and wrote back, “Really Faisal? Sam Dada (another APML leader) have you received any billions? Mehreen Malik Adam, have you received any billions?”

Sam Dada, however, refuted all allegations about her but she did not defend any of her colleagues. “Neither was I a part of any financial handling nor did I apply for any seat. I was never part of any election campaign.”

The matter was also raised within the APML chat group. According to a debate within the APML Central Working Committee (CWC) chat group, Dr Amjad gave details of spending around Rs500 million.

According to Dr Amjad, APML candidate Shazia Noureen from NA-170 was given Rs5 million, Aurangzeb Khan from NA-31 was given Rs2.5 million, Rs1.2 million was handed to an MPA, Farrukh Cheema was given Rs5 million and Taqi Haider was given Rs4 million. Moreover, Arif Utmanzai was handed down Rs4 million, Aneela was given Rs5 million, Ilyas Gujjar was given Rs9 million, Ashraf got Rs7.5 million while Faqeer Hussain Bukhari was given Rs6.5 million.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Dr Amjad confirmed that he had resigned from the party due to failure of the party in recent elections. He admitted that the party had given some of the party’s funds to its candidates for election spending.

When asked how much the party’s leaders had embezzled, Dr Amjad argued that if any party leader, who had worked for the party over years, had kept some money, there was no harm.

He did not disclose how much was allocated for the party’s election spending saying it was a party secret and he would not reveal the actual figure.

“Will you please ask Imran Khan and Shehbaz Sharif how much they have spent on the elections. APML is a very small party and you are doing so much research on us,” he argued.