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Too late Mian Sahib


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The latest trend in Pakistani politics nowadays is to disparage and belittle ones opposition relentlessly and purposelessly. The youth’s “political activism” has somehow transformed itself into idolatry and unquestionable devotion. Although all political parties have a lot of margin for improvement, the youth is engaged in desultory condemnation and defamation of each other’s views on Facebook and Twitter. I, on the contrary, believe that our parties need productive criticism and self-evaluation more than our veneration and applaud.

During the Pakistan movement, Quaid-e-Azam didn’t get time to properly organize the All India Muslim League and after the untimely death of Liaquat Ali Khan the party became disjointed. Ultimately, in 1958 Ayub Khan put a ban on all political parties and it seemed at the time, to be the last chapter in the history of Muslim League.

However, the name Muslim League commanded unequivocal support and a special appeal to the masses, so that when Ayub Khan did formulate a party, he named it the Convention Muslim League and young Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became its first secretary-general. Later on, the Council Muslim League was formed by some members of the Convention Muslim League, but in 1973 these two parties were reconsolidated by Pir Pagaro and the Muslim League Functional was formed. In 1985 Gen Zia-ul-Haq shaped Pakistan Muslim League (PML) to his preference and Muhammad Khan Junejo assumed party responsibility.

However, after the death of Liaquat Ali Khan, no Muslim League leader gained popularity and the party remained hijacked by the establishment who ran it according to its agendas. These powers brought Mian Nawaz Sharif into Muslim League but unlike the past, Mian Nawaz Sharif commanded unprecedented public approval, and this did not sit well with the establishment. Therefore, his democratically elected government in the 1990’s was toppled twice and after his exile, the party once again became divided and PML (Q) was formed.

In the election of 2008, both Muslim League “Q” and “N” came out in colors with significant public mandate, but the party failed to unite. Looking back at history, one realises that Muslim League always remained divided and lacked grassroots organisation. On the contrary, Bhutto’s PPP was structurally and organisationally so well-founded that after 40 years it has emerged as a unified “sect”.

From 1983 to 1999, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was holding public offices and his responsibilities were such that he did not get a chance to reform and structuralise the Pakistan Muslim League. PML remained disjointed during his exile. After the elections of 2008, PPP formed the Federal government and PML-N took over the Punjab government. This was the only time in Mian Nawaz Sharif’s political career when he held no constitutional office and this was the rare opportunity for him to organise and restructure the party and prepare it for the future. Many thought that the much-needed reorganisation was the reason Mian Nawaz Sharif dissolved party offices on 7th Sept 2009, however, party offices remained vacant till 27th August 2011 and the party did not undergo the much-needed reformation and unification.

If the past five years had been utilised to ameliorate and epitomise the party, then today Mian Nawaz Sharif would not have to join hands with Muslim League Functional, Muslim League Hamkhayal, Jamat-e-Islami and JUI-F to form a new “Islami Jamhoori Ittehad” to contest the forthcoming election.

If personal differences had been set aside after the election of 2008 and the PML had been strategically consolidated, neither would we be looking at a future hung parliament nor would Zardari’s government been able to destroy Pakistan’s economic future. A strong, unified and organised Muslim League is in national interest but the chances of that ever happening look slim to me. Perhaps, the establishment is extremely happy with the current state of affairs because from where I see, it will be extremely easy for them to form the Muslim League “ABC” after another October 12.


Agha Adeel is a business intelligence consultant based in Washington DC. He has been advocating the reformation of Pakistani politics through his writings and political activism. He can be reached at


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Agha Adeel is a business intelligence consultant based in Washington DC. He has been advocating the reformation of Pakistani politics through his writings and political activism. He can be reached at

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (18) Closed

foulmouthed Mar 27, 2013 02:26pm
Too much to ask of someone like MNS.
Akram Mar 27, 2013 04:34pm
Nawaz sharif represents the feudal land owners, they are not about to let the common man take power which they believe is their birth right. Its time this system was replaced by the concept of equality for everyone, not just the wealthy and connected.
Hassan Mar 27, 2013 04:41pm
"If the past five years had been utilised to ameliorate and epitomise the party..." Terrible choice of vocabulary. Its sad that even columnists on Dawn are using convoluted words incorrectly just to sound intelligent and learned. Tsk tsk....
A Jafri Mar 27, 2013 06:30pm
Please translate in Urdu. MNS cannot read and/or understand english.
Nasr Mar 27, 2013 07:41pm
Go Mian Saheb Go. Let us alone please
hyderphd74 Mar 27, 2013 08:34pm
A strong, unified and organized Muslim League is in national interest but----- not with the Sharif tola at its helm. They have had more than enough opportunity and have made enough billions. Now try some one else.
Usman Mar 28, 2013 12:24am
Grass is the only thing left to eat for the grassroots PPP's supporters. A new power has emerged, a new political order is taking shape in Pakistan, defined by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. PTI is the natural progression to the PPP, which is nothing more than a huddle of feudals vying for power. PTI has turned into an institution and is expected to stand the test of time.
Malick Mar 28, 2013 01:01am
Well written
M. Sajid Mar 28, 2013 01:37am
Nawaz better should take a back seat and allow Shabaz to assume lead the party
Ghalib Khan Mar 28, 2013 04:34am
If the base is wrong the structure will never be strong MNS was brought by a dictator, how can somebody brought in such a wrong way could do any right
Asim Iqbal Mar 28, 2013 05:20am
Reformation and restructuring of a political party requires immense leadership qualities which is not there in MNS
Maulana Diesel Mar 28, 2013 06:07am
PPP and PML(N) are the outcome of dictatorship and been able to get through the politics with the help of active military support. Though PPP deny this but Bhutto was the product of Ayub. Similarly Nawaz Sharif who failed to please his father in business was handed over to Zia for grooming. Thus these parties failed to enforce the true spirit of democracy and the result is obvious. Nawaz Sharif's party is no better from PPP and is expected to repeat the same as the later has done. Too much of feudal and industrial mindset will prevail and Nawaz Sharif cannot import any brains. Its recent performance in Punjab had been disappointing. People of Pakistan has no other choice but to say good bye to them or get ready for another five worst years if tried these parties again.
M. Tanseer Ali Mar 28, 2013 08:30am
actually there is no vision and leadership in mian bros. What they have learned is nothung except civil dictatorship and to be egoistic,
observer Mar 28, 2013 09:11am
and Muslim League is just a brand, not a political party.
Janjuah Mar 28, 2013 09:32am
It is also a time for voter to change the way he has been casting the vote since he/she turned 18... this election is the final which may bring the change in pakistan.. it is neither Khan or Mian who will bring the change but we as voters....... listen to your inner voter rather looking at banners or jalsa size...we have been listening to many politicians on media and in jalsas.... if we make a wrong choice this time then we will have to wait for the next 5 years which we can
Ghalib Khan Mar 28, 2013 10:34am
Seeing the current situation only one phrase comes to mind 'NONE OF THE ABOVE"
ID Mar 28, 2013 02:44pm
End family politics and something might happend. What are the chances of that happening? NONE..
iowner Mar 28, 2013 07:48pm
I strongly believe that World would be a lot better and safer place without PML-N and PPP.