ISLAMABAD- Be it far from a retired life of golf, socializing and an occasional game of bridge, former President Pervez Musharraf is planning to step into national politics soon. Reports of Musharraf's intentions to rejoin politics have been doing the rounds in the local press since some time now. But whereas it was generally assumed that he would head the PML (Q) that he formed himself, it transpires that a new party called the Pasdaran-e-Pakistan will be set up as his vehicle. Sources close to the former President disclose that when the general euphoria that followed the elections of February 18th, 2008, was replaced by a general sense of disappointment because of the dismal performance of the new government, he felt the time was right to step into politics. Presumably surrounded by individuals who thought this was a good idea, it did not seem to matter to him that he had almost no support base or that a large number of legislators from his League were already in talks with both the major coalition parties. According to sources, sometime in April, he invited a select group of apex PML (Q) legislators to the Presidency and expressed his desire to "repackage" the League. Though he did not quite put it in words, he wanted the Chaudhrys (who were attending the meeting) out. Musharraf apparently wanted to replace Chaudhry Shujaat with a leader of a lower profile. At that time, none of the major parties wanted to have anything to do with the Chaudhrys. Amidst signs of tumult in the ruling coalition, Musharraf could then offer the services of the PML (Q) to the PPP. That, and the powers of the President under the 17th Amendment, could grant Musharraf a lot of leverage in the scheme of things. But almost all of the leaders attending, from all sides of the divide in Q League politics, thought this was a bad idea. This was disappointing for Musharraf. It was at around this time that former Information Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani suggested that he start a political party called Pasdaran-e-Pakistan. Having already started a homonymous Pasban, Durrani had some experience at starting political organizations. Whether Durrani actually thought this new party could stand a chance is another issue; what mattered was the start-up capital and that was not scant for this new project. None of the insiders was sure, though, about where this money was coming from. However, people in the Musharraf camp perceived that the name Pasdaar would perhaps suggest orthodoxy. A newer, more modern name was needed. The name Civil Society Alliance (CSA) came up. But it wasn't just a name. Since it was felt that the civil society was instrumental in the movement against Musharraf, this was going to be an organization that would spread Musharraf's message to local NGOs. The Civil Society Alliance, run by Muhammad Ali Durrani and Barrister Saif, invited a number of small NGOs from a lot of smaller towns to participate in certain functions. As many as 350 delegates showed up at a National Symposium that the CSA held at a swanky hotel in Islamabad. PML (Q) MNA Sumera Malik, also a part of the CSA addressed this gathering. She called the CSA the "light at the end of the tunnel." But at this point, Pervez Musharraf's association with the CSA had not been made clear, at least not overtly. He had also allocated two hours of every day to meeting people from various walks of life. These included ulema, lawyers, working class intellectuals, businessmen etc. The then President also visited on August 3rd what would have appeared to have been an easier constituency for him: a traders association in Karachi, where the local political network of the MQM was employed to make sure it was a success. Karachi Nazim Mustafa Kamal also addressed the gathering. Here, Musharraf reminded the attendees of the bad situation of the country. After listing the economic, political, law and order and diplomatic travails that the country was passing through, he offered to talk to Qazi Hussein Ahmed, Imran Khan and other politicians as if he were an active and relevant participant in the political discourse. It was at this point, according to insiders, that tempers began to flare up at Zardari House; if continuing to have Musharraf as the President wasn't looking bad enough; here he was presiding over conventions with distinct political undertones. But the last straw on the camel's back was the large gathering that the CSA had been tasked to arrange in Islamabad where Musharraf was to speak. The timing, 10th of August, was meticulous. It was after yet another deadline in the deadlock between the PPP and PML (N) had passed and public resentments against the newer dispensations would have soared. This was too much for the PPP and the decision to impeach him was taken three days before he was to address the convention. Musharraf, say insiders, was incredibly depressed when he got wind of the impeachment decision. He eventually did regain his desire to enter politics. The board of the CSA office in Islamabad now reads Pasdaran-e-Pakistan, the name that was initially discarded. Politics, no doubt, is a tedious and complicated affair. Some friends have told Musharraf that without the elaborate network of sticks and carrots that the state agencies had used to line up a PML (Q) before the 2002 elections, it would be extremely difficult to set up a new political party that would be taken seriously. They fear the former President is being taken for a ride by those who are running his campaign, and are allegedly interested only in getting on the gravy train that necessarily has to accompany the setting up of such a political organization.