Karachi : Senior politician and spiritual leader of Hurs, Pir Pagara was elected as president of newly formed Combined Pakistan Muslim League, a conglomerate of four PML factions, here on Friday.
The merger was announced at a meeting of the four PML factions at Kingri House, the residence of Pir Sahib Pagara.
This is the second merger of different PML factions within a month. Former Prime Minister Chaudry Shujaat Hussein-led PML (Q), and Pir Pagara-led PML (F) had announced a merger last month at Kingri House Karachi, and formed All Pakistan Muslim League, which could last not more than a month.
The four factions, which were merged into combined PML, are PML (F), PML (Zia), PML (like-minded), and PML (Awami).
Political analysts are not giving much significance to the event as the two major factions, PML (N), and PML (Q), whose combined strength in the National Assembly is 143, refused to join the new party.
The PML (F) is the only group amongst the four factions, which has some roots in Sindh, while the remaining three are known as single-seat groups.
Former prime Minister, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, whose political affiliation is still a million-dollar question as he was elected as prime minister in 2002 from the PML(Q) platform, but after his resignation he parted ways with Chaudries, has been appointed as convener of the new party.
The advisor to chief minister Sindh, Imtiaz Shaikh has been appointed as coordinator of the combined PML.
A nine-member steering committee, led by Mir Zafarullah Jamali, has also been set up to contact other PML groups, including PML(N), and PML(Q), in order to woo them to join the new party.
Other members of the committee include, former federal ministers, Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed, Makhdoom Ahmed Mahmood, Humayyun Akhtar, Jehangir Tareen, Hamid Nasir Chatta, and Ijaz-ul-Haq.
Later addressing a press conference, Pir Pagara said that the four factions would continue to work independently till the legal requirements vis-à-vis formation of a unified party were completed.
But all these parties, he made it clear, would be remain united at the platform of combined PML.
To a question about absence of Chaudry Shujaat Hussein, who just a month ago, announced merger of his party into All Pakistan Muslim League along with PML(F), Pagara said he had spoken to Chaudry Shujaat on telephone, however it seemed if his “ younger Chaudry” (Chaudry Perwaiz Ellahi) had some “memory problem”. But still, Chaudries would come back soon, he predicted.
About Nawaz Sharif, he said he had no contact with the two-time premier, however, he added, he would try to bring him into the new party.
Similarly, he said, he had not contacted the former military dictator General rtd Pervez Musharraf in connection with combined PML.
“First, he (Musharraf) should become a Muslim leaguer, and then the council (steering committee) may decide about his induction into combined Muslim League”, Pagara said in his traditional lighter mood.
In reply to a question, Pagara said that his party would remain coalition partner in Sindh and center despite formation of a combined PML.
“We have nothing to do with game number. Our mission is to unite all the Muslim leagues, and we would go ahead with that. If any one wants to join us, he is welcome, and if not, we have nothing to do with him”, he maintained.
He observed that the unification of PML groups was in the better interest of Pakistan as the current deplorable conditions were because of those who had had no role in creation of the country.
“I feel very happy that those Muslim leaguers, who had been dispersed due to different reasons, are getting united”, he said.
To a question, Pagara said that President Asif Zardari would remain in office until Allah is merciful on him.