LAHORE - Efforts are on to forge a grand alliance of all Muslim League factions, sans PML-N. In the background of recent past developments to bring Muslim Leagues closer, former caretaker prime minister and veteran political leader Mir Balakh Sher Mazari met Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa at the latter’s residence here on Friday.
The meeting is being apparently termed get together of old friends yet its significance cannot be undermined given the current situation. Sources in the know of the current meeting and the background contacts of the Muslim League leaders say that Mir Mazari’s meeting with Khosa purported former’s will to become to be a part of the Muslim Leagues alliance . They said the meeting also discussed other political matters with special reference to MLs alliance .
Sources say before the return of PML-F head Peer Sibghatullah Rashedi (Peer Pagaro) from London groundwork is being completed fast to bring all MLs, minus N-League, to a single platform where keeping identity of every League, all would follow a common agenda on the parameters worked out with the consensus of all.
On his return home Peer Pagaro is expected to make announcement of vital political significance in the existing situation which factions of the Muslim Leagues believe is pathetic for the people due to self-centered policies of PML-N and the PPP which are ruling Centre-Punjab and Sindh respectively.
Peer Pagaro, who has been a strong voice for PMLs unification in the past, around this time is low profile on unification and is focusing on grand alliance of Leagues which near the elections can be converted into an election alliance .
Last month three former chief ministers, which had reservations against the ruling PML-N and the PPP in their own way, and Pagaro along with others met up and discussed nitty gritty of the alliance . They included Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Liaqat Ali Jatoi and Syed Ghaus Ali Shah which all have been related to N-League in the May 2013 election.
Former judge of the Sindh High Court, Ghaus Ali Shah had also performed as PML Chief Minister in Sindh and now he differs with the N-leadership on the issues relating to the party leadership in Sindh whereof he has been sidelined in the provincial politics despite the fact he counts big services for the party. Last month he also held meeting with Zulfiqar Khosa in Lahore and discussed the current situation and the creation of the grand alliance .
Khosa, who over the last few months, is quite open and critical of the N-Leadership as well as performance of this party government, is also on a move to evolve alliance of the Muslim Leagues without Sharifs whom he charges with practicing favouritism and ignoring the staunch and loyal party men which in turn has caused loss to the country and the nation.
Khosa, who met Ghaus Shah and others during his recent visit to Karachi, while holding a media conference spoke openly against the ruling parties. He claims that a considerable number of party legislators and workers were in touch with him and they also wanted change of guard in the party. He is playing a key role in materialising the alliance as such, he has also been assigned the task of contacting other out-of-sorts leaders of the party. The ML leaders have also reached out to Chaudhrys of PML-Q, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad of Awami Muslim League, Ijazul Haq of PML-Z, Hamid Nasir Chattha of PML-J, and former military President Pervez Musharraf and reportedly have received positive vibes. In addition to that they are reaching out to senior Leaguers who at present are not siding with any party and sitting on the fence.
On the political landscape, the last days meeting of Chaudhry Shujaat with General Musharraf is being reckoned as a very significant development for the future of the brewing alliance . Chaudhrys had served a five year-term of rule under Musharraf when he was president-cum-COAS. But they gradually distanced from each other and went somewhat hostile after the PML-Q, architected the Musharraf, failed to make a countable mark in the election 2008 under the Chaudhrys leadership.
Later things softened when Chaudhrys backed Musharraf on high treason trial initiated by the N-government against him. They appear again about to join hands but as part of the all Leagues . Sources about formation of the possible alliance say that since it is likely to comprise all big names, so unlike the formal pattern they would be knit together in a manner that their political stature is not compromised and they satisfactorily carry out the agenda.
While talking to this scribe Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa confirmed visit of Mir Balakh Mazari to this residence and said it was a friendly call wherein views on different subjects were shared. He said at present a sham democracy existed in the country and there was an urgent need for setting things in the right direction to save the country. He said the Sharifs only believe in dynastic politics which runs against the norm of democracy and harbingers harm to the nation. When asked who would lead if alliance of all Muslim Leagues is forged, he said it would be settled through discussion and consensus when the time came.