November 11, 2017

Musharraf to head 23-party Pakistan Awami Ittehad

ISLAMABAD: The All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) Chairman, General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, will lead a political alliance of 23 political and religious parties by the name of "Pakistan Awami Ittehad" (PAI).

General Musharraf, while addressing the leadership of the alliance here on Friday, said that if problems are not resolved through elections, something else has to be done. He said the PML-N and PPP have damaged the country and Nawaz Sharif has no political future. Commenting about the coalition of MQM and PSP, Musharraf said that it was an unnatural alliance that couldn't last even 24 hours. He said that he doesn’t want to become leader of an ethnic party but if the MQM and PSP feel, they can join the PAI. About the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Musharraf said that they are on solo flight.

All the 23 parties unanimously agreed to work under the leadership of Musharraf while Iqbal Dar of Pakistan Muslim League-Junejo (PML-J) has been appointed as secretary general of the PAI. APML Secretary General Dr Muhammad Amjad has been appointed as the coordinator of the new alliance.

The 23 parties included in the Pakistan Awami Ittehad are Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) led by Tahirul Qadri, Muslim Conference of AJ&K, PML-J, Pakistan Muslim League-Council, Sunni Ittehad, Pakistan Muslim League-National, Awam League, Pakistan Muslim Alliance, Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz, Conservative Party, Mohajir Ittehad Tehreek, Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen, Pakistan Sunni Tehreek, Pakistan Insani Huqooq Party, Millet Party, Jamiat Ulma-e-Pakistan-Niazi Group, Aam Log Party, Aam Admi Party, Pakistan Musawat Party, Pakistan Minority Party, Jamiat Mashaiekh Pakistan and Social Justice Democratic Party.

The APML hosted a meeting of the alliance at its Islamabad secretariat that was participated by the leadership of the said parties and took important decisions. Leadership of the allied parties unanimously agreed to work under the leadership of Musharraf, who through his telephonic address welcomed the formation of this alliance and said all the major political parties are facing deterioration and a strong political alliance is the need of the hour
To a question about his return to Pakistan, Musharraf said that he would come to the country at an appropriate time. To a question about provision of security to him by the incumbent government, Musharraf said that the government has not responded to his request as yet. He said that there is a change as Nawaz Sharif has been ousted from the office and now he is ready to return and face the cases.

About MQM, Musharraf said it is the most infamous title and it has defamed the Mohajir community. Mohajir community should shun this identity and call them Pakistanis. He suggested that the Mohajir community should end its internal disputes and leave the MQM. He also suggested that the MQM should rename its party.

General Musharraf said that the city of Karachi houses all nationalities of Pakistan. If put together, they can form a great power. He said everybody will be welcomed in PAI. After Punjab, now political parties from Sindh, Kyber Pukhtoon Khaw and Balochistan are also joining the PAI.

“With this alliance we will eliminate PPP from Sindh,” Musharraf said. To a question that whether or not he sees elections in 2018, General Musharraf refused to comment but said that he is quite worried about the worsening situation in the country.

“Supreme Court of Pakistan and Pakistan Army are there in the country. If new election could solve the problems it will be good but in case it couldn't, an alternate step to get the system at right track will be necessary,” Musharraf said. He suggested that Supreme Court of Pakistan and Pakistan Army should think about Pakistan first. About Chaudhry Shujaat and Pervez Elahi, Musharraf said that he has good relations with them and in the past they always favoured him.

Before that, PAI Coordinator Dr Muhammad Amjad, Secretary General Iqbal Dar and former prime minister AJ&K Sardar Atiq discussed objectives of the PAI. Dr Amjad said till now PAI has held its seven meetings. PAI's central secretariat will be in Islamabad while provincial secretariat will be located in Lahore. On November 25, PAI will hold a convention in Lahore while a public meeting of the alliance will be held in Karachi in December


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