ISLAMABAD - Former military dictator Pervez Musharraf’s political party, All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), seems to be in disarray after his indictment in the high treason case for imposing emergency in the country and suspending the constitution in 2007.
One of the most powerful military rulers, General Musharraf, launched his political party ‘APML’ in 2010 with offices across the country and overseas. Throughout his detention whenever he appeared before the court, there were still a handful of people standing outside the courts, expressing their solidarity to the former ruler.
But on Thursday, hours after he returned to his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad on wee hours of Thursday, there was no one to welcome him.
Late in the afternoon, one APML office bearer managed to reach outside the general’s farmhouse. Sardar Aman, Vice President, APML, was the only party worker present outside the farmhouse. Like everyone else, he was curious to know what will happen to Musharraf. “Is Musharraf going abroad or not?” he impatiently inquired from a group of reporters, who stood near the farmhouse.
When asked why other APML workers did not reach the farm house, Aman expressed his disappointment at the lack of coordination within the APML.
“Nobody called the party workers,” he said. “Nobody told us that Musharraf was shifted to his farmhouse. Our leader Dr Amjad is out of the country, whereas Ahmed Raza Qasuri, the lawyer and leader of APML, is busy in the court,” he told The Nation.
He learnt about his leader moving back to the farmhouse through television news networks, Aman said.
Efforts to contact APML office bearers remained unsuccessful as most of them and the familiar faces on TV seem to have gone passive. Not only APML has lost its presence from roads, its visibility on social media has also visibly shrunk.
APML official website seems obsolete and the most recent story was posted on July 19, last year. Musharraf’s official Facebook page is still breathing some life. It had 1,646,851 ‘likes’ by Thursday evening. But then Facebook ‘likes’ have never translated into anything tangible or yielded on the ground for the former military strongman.
Chaudhry Asad, a senior leader of APML, however, rejected the impression that APML is going through a rough time. “APML is very much active and we will show our strength on right time,” he asserted.
Political analysts believe that APML faces a bleak future. “APML never managed to take off as a political party, it was never able to make any ideological distinction, resultantly, urban middle class, which was supporting APML was hijacked by Imran Khan’s PTI”, Islamabad based political analyst Zafrullah Khan, said while talking to The Nation.
He was of the view that APML had now become irrelevant whether Musharraf remains within the country or leaves for abroad. “Winning one or two seats is pointless. Although Musharaf’s party have two seats in present parliament but this is insignificant, as a party they don’t have candidates who can win significant seats in elections”, he said.