Islamabad: Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf annouced a grand alliance of 23 political parties under the name of Pakistan Awami Ittehad (PAI).
The alliance will be headed by the former military chief himself. Iqbal Dar has been appointed as the Secretary general.
Addressing media persons through video conferencing from Dubai, Musharraf said all parties representing the Muhajir (Migrant) community should be united.
He invited the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) to join the new political alliance.
About the nature of alliance, he said all the member parties will contest together with one name.
Musharraf denied reports that he was going to head the MQM, claiming that it was “ridiculous” to think that he would want to be head of a “minor, ethnic party”.
“MQM-Pakistan is merely half of what the (original) party used to be,” he said.
“I am concerned about (the internal problems) of the party; however, I have no interest in replacing Farooq Sattar or Mustafa Kamal even if their parties are united,” he insisted.
Criticising MQM, he said that the party and the muhajir community have lost respect.
“The muhajir community would do better to abandon ethnic politics and join PAI,” he said.
He expressed hope that Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leaders Chaudhry Shujaat and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi would join his grand alliance as well.