Saturday, October 2
Musharraf, first to launch party from abroad
Whatever credits and discredits General (r) Pervez Musharraf has as a military ruler; nevertheless he has a unique record to adorn his proud chest for launching his political party - All Pakistan Muslim League - from abroad since it has never happened in the political history of Pakistan.
In one of his talks to the media, the ex-president has averred, "We have to bring about a new political culture in Pakistan." Perhaps, party's launching from London seems to the first step in this regard, which is the first instance of its nature in Pakistan's turbulent political history to which he has also made many contributions.
Secondly, he will be also sharing another record with MQM Chief Altaf Hussain since now both will be addressing the nation from the same city, as Musharraf is yet to give any final deadline for his arrival in the country, and it is not expected to be announced soon. If the later would have been a possibility, then he might have delayed the launching of his party.
On the other hand, Chairman Pakistan Awami Tehreek Dr Tahirul Qadri - not in self-imposed exile and staying abroad with breaks for non-political reasons unlike Altaf and Musharraf - only addresses his party workers and executive committee members via video conferences, which are more often for religious reasons.
Out of these three, only Altaf Hussain is a success story as far as the power politics is concerned, whereas Dr Qadri has handed over political matters to his juniors. The MQM and PAT were launched in Pakistan by their respective heads, and they have developed infrastructure inside the country, while branching out their parties across the globe as well.
In this respect Musharraf 'stands out' among all his present political adversaries since he has launched a political party when they have already demanded his penalisation, while his former devotees have distanced themselves, not only from military rulers' politics but also as their 'benefactor'. Resultantly, only minions are said to be siding with him.
Parties launched by previous men-in-uniform are either drawing last breaths or have been laid to rest. General (r) Aslam Beg's Awami Qiadat Party is already unknown to people except its office bearers, whereas Air Marshal (r) Ashgar Khan's Tehreek-i-Istaqlal has been virtually buried.
Ziaul Haq's Muslim League has almost completed its prefixes of English Alphabets, and no one can exactly say which portion of the ML belonged to him, while his political stooges have either become orphans or too bigger democrats to own him.
General (r) Ayub Khan's Convention Muslim League - a faction of the Pakistan Muslim League - was actually a split-off in support of the military ruler, and it died and got buried along with the dictator.
The last one is Musharraf's Muslim League, which has offered itself to the masses with a slogan 'at your service'.