The Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid e Azam Group) Urdu: پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ق); Acronyms: PML(Q), PML-Q, PMLQ) is a centre-nationalist political party in Pakistan. Currently it has a representation of 2 seats in the Parliament in the latest parliamentary elections held in 2013. It had previously served as a strong ally of former Prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf’s previously led-government, and led a joint election campaign in 2013 alongside Pakistan Peoples Party in Punjab and Balochistan provinces against its rival Pakistan Muslim League (N), a fiscal conservative and centre-right force.
Its leadership and the members were once part of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) presided by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, but after the 1997 general elections, the political differences arose that ultimately led to the creation of the faction inside of its own party. The party’s dissidents, led by Shujaat Hussain, raised their voices calling for the strong and vocal support for the 1999 military coup d’état staged and led by then-Chief of Army Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Pervez Musharaff. In 2002, dissident leaders formed and launched the party platform, focusing onto President Pervez Musharraf government, later became an integral part of Musharraf’s government after appointing its own Prime minister, Shaukat Aziz. The leader of the dissidents, Shujaat Hussain was named party’s president, while party began the annihilation of PML(N)’s structure. The full advantage was taken by President Pervez Musharraf who granted opportunities to the party with an initial and focusing goal of exclusive support of the government and to lessen and diminish the public support of Navaz Sharif in the country. The National security adviser Tarik Aziz had played a pivotal role who “had engineered the idea in advance of the elections of 2002 of converting the PML(N)’s centre-right ideology back to centrism, PML(Q), the Q standing for “Quaid-e-Azam”. However the engineered idea collapse when PML (N) did emerged as the largest conservative front as well as the largest opposition party in the parliament. Furthermore, the party suffered many setback in post-elections when its members began to disintegrate after forming the separate bloc with close association with the PML-N, first being the Like-Minded bloc and Avami League bloc and second, the former president’s bloc. Senior members either proceeded to join the PML-N, while the junior leadership defected to Pakistan Movement for Justice.
Although in early stages and even after the recent elections, it was rumoured the existence of the party might be difficult, but this was proved wrong when the party performed extremely well despite the predictions. In September 2010, the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) joined its similar ideological faction, the PML-F, forming the Pakistan Muslim League (Pir Pagara), but this was short-lived when in May 2011 the party joined the Yousaf Raza Gillani led-government to fulfill the gap left by its rival PML-N. However, the party announced its resignation from the Parliament, citing the failure of the Pakistan Peoples Party to resolve the energy crisis as the reason, which had direct impact on federal government and situation become better by giving relief in fuel prices on 15-jun-12.
PML (Q) is a political party with influential members such as the Chaudhary’s of Gujrat, Pervaiz Elahi and Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain. 75% of its elected members are former “big men” of the Zia ul Haq regime and Nawaz Sharif Government. Factions of the PML-N broke away in 2001 under NAB’s pressure to form the Pakistan Muslim League (Q). They were staunch supporters of Pervez Musharraf and consider him their mentor. Although, he was sometimes mistakenly cited as a member, former president Pervez Musharraf was not part of the party itself. Being the President of Pakistan he remained non-partisan and neutral.
Breakaway from PML-N and Founding
The present Pakistan Muslim League (Q)(PML(Q)) started as a small group of half a dozen like-minded people in the Nawaz Sharif led faction of PML-N, including Mian Mohammad Azhar, Khurshid Kasuri, Syeda Abida Hussain and her husband Syed Fakhar Imam. Mian Mohammad Azhar remained the president of the party initially but saprated his ways and joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led by Imran Khan. Pervez Musharraf as President of Pakistan asked Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi to “galvanise and reinvent the Muslim League.” Several well known leaders later joined the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) with Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain as the president of the party. PML(Q) was launched on 20 August 2002.
2002 general elections
During the 20 October 2002 legislative elections, the party won 25.7% votes and 126 out of 342 members.
Developments during PMLQ Government (2002–2007)
Some economic and social development indicators shown below .
Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which was $63 billion in 1999, reached $162 billion, grown at an average of 7% .
Per capita income increased to $925 from $435.
Revenue collection, which was at around Rs. 300 billion in 1999, crossed a record Rs. 1 trillion, creating more fiscal space for
Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), which hovered around Rs. 80 billion during the 1988–99 period, reached Rs. 520 billion.
Foreign direct investment (FDI), which was around $300 million in 1999, peaked to $6.5 billion.
Remittances were at a record $5.5 billion.
Exports rise from $9 billion to $17 billion.
Foreign Exchange reserves $16 billion.
Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) index rise to 14,000 points from 1000 points in 1999.
However, opponents point to all the achievements where over 10 years, at time of strong global economic growth, low oil prices and relative to other countries the achievements were average, particularly since a massive balance of payments crises began in 2008.
In May 2004, various PML factions and other political parties merged with the PML-Q to form a united Pakistan Muslim League (PML), thus leaving out only the Nawaz Sharif led faction of PML. They included former President Farooq Leghari’s Millat Party, Mr Jahan Zaib Awan, National Peoples Party, Arbab Ghulam Rahim’s Sindh Democratic Alliance, Hamid Nasir Chattha’s PML (Junejo), Pir Pagara’s PML (Functional), Manzoor Wattoo’s PML (Jinnah), and Ijaz-ul-Haq’s PML (Zia). Later on, Pir Pagara led faction called the PML-Functional again parted ways with the united PML, which led the number of parties being called Pakistan Muslim League to three: PML-Q, PML-N, and PML-F.
Wings of PMLQ
Being a major political party, the PMLQ has several active wings:
Federal Capital Wing
Ulma e Mashaikh Wing
Hussain Lovers Wing
Human Rights Wing
2008 general elections
The Pakistan Muslim League (Q) contested the February 2008 legislative election with other allied parties like Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Pakistan Muslim League (F), and National Peoples Party. It was believed that the party wanted former Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi to become Prime Minister. The PML (Q) lost major parliamentarians in the 2008 general election, gaining only 49 elected seats, and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the PML (N) opposition parties won the election.
PML (Q) Secretary-General Mushahid Hussain Syed said that, although the party had performed “far below expectations”, it accepted defeat in the election “with grace” and would become an opposition party. Although in this elections PML-Q could not win but became second largest vote scoring party of Pakistan.
2013 general elections
PML (Q) contested the 2013 elections in alliance with PPP. The party managed to win only 2 seats in national assembly this time. They won 8 seats in Punjab assembly and 4 seats in Balochistan assembly. In Sindh and KPK assemblies, they fail to win any seat. They could only win 3.11% of popular vote, relegating it from number two to number six in terms of votes won.
Party Leadership & Vision
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain is current President of PML-Q. He was elected unopposed, and Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed is the Secretary General of PML who was also elected unopposed.
The PML has entered a new phase of its history. It aspires to promote a culture of reconciliation and accommodation in politics. It has launched a massive campaign to organise itself at the grassroots. It plans to introduce reforms in the social, economic and other sectors of the society to bring about a real change in the life of the common man.
‘Like-minded Group’ break away
Recently, a growing rift within the leadership of the party has emerged another faction within the ambit of the Muslim League calling themselves the ‘Like-minded’ bloc, who are seriously opposed to the recent Chaudhry’s of Gujrat leadership bid.
Even though its early days for this new faction, they have announced that Hamid Nasir Chattha would be the chairman, Salim Saifullah the President, and Humayun Akhtar Khan the Secretary General. Other prominent leaders to join this parallel set-up amongst others are (former Foreign Ministers) Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri (appointed as chairman Steering Committee) former information and organising secretary PML-Q Azeem Chaudhary, former member parliament Asiya Azeem and Gohar Ayub Khan. Additional prominent leaders include Kashmala Tariq as well. A meeting of the group was held in August 2009 in Peshawar by members including Salim Saifullah Khan, Hamid Nasir Chattha, Humayun Akhtar Khan, Gohar Ayub Khan, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Muhammad Ali Durrani, Sumaira Malik, Lala Nisar, Kashmala Tariq, Iqbal Dar and Omar Ayub Khan.
In February 2010, the mainstream PML-Q was further effected by the resignation of Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq, and the revival of his Pakistan Muslim League (Z) party.
A political alliance of at least three factions of the Pakistan Muslim League is likely to be announced before mid-June 2015
Possible Alliance with Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf
There is possibility of electrol allinace in 2018 General Elections between PMLQ & Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, however no party yet formally confirmed it. Chairman Pakistan Tehreek e insaf Imran Khan has credited Ch Pervaiz Elahi for development work he carried out across Punjab province during his tenure. PMLQ participated in Islamabad sit in of 2014 which was organized by PTI
Alleged Support for military regimes
The President of the party Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi supported Musharraf step by step. They have been faithful to the general in even the most adverse circumstances
Shujaat Hussain’s father Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi was initially a supporter of President Ayub Khan, but when the governor during his time Nawab of Kalabagh Amir Mohammad Khan favoured some of his local opponents, he parted ways with Ayub’s Convention Muslim League. He opposed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and later joined Zia’s government. He was killed allegedly by Al-Zulfikar organisation for his support to General Zia-ul-Haq. After his death, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain continued to support Zia and his Islamization policies. He remained in PML Once the establishment parted ways with Nawaz Sharif in 1999, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi came to the rescue of stability of country and saw their new party PML (Q) win the general elections of 2002. Both the Chaudhry brothers have been accused of some financial scandals including the Cooperative Scandal, sugar scandal and bank loan defaults, but none of them were ever proven or even pursed or trailed by government but nowadays the Q league has been destroyed by both PPP-P and PTI.
Prominent leaders of PMLQ are as below
Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, President PML Punjab
Tariq Bashir Cheema, Senior Vice-President
Mohammad Basharat Raja, Senior Vice-President Punjab
Chaudhary Zaheer Uddin Khan, General Secretary PML Punjab
Dr. Khalid Ranjha, Senior Vice-President
S.M. Zafar, Senior Vice-President
Seemal Kamran, Secretary Information PML Punjab
Nasir Mehmood Gill, Additional General Secretary PML Punjab
Mian Imran Msood, Vice President PML Punjab
Shiekh Umer Hayat, President Traders Wing PML Punjab
Chaudhary Zulfiqar Pappan, President Youth Wing PML Punjab
Alamgier Advocate, President Lawyers Wing PML Punjab
Eng. Shahzad Elahi, President Minority Wing PML Punjab
Khadeeja Umer Farooqi, President Women Wing PML Punjab
Dr.Azeem Lakhwi, President Doctors Wing PML Punjab
Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain
Sajid Mehmood Bhatti
Yousaf Ahad, President PML Lahore
Chaudhry Muhammad Anwar Bhinder, former speaker and senior vice-president
Raza Ahmed Khan, Vice President PML Gujrat
Farhad Ali Khan, Vice-President KPK
Zulfiqar Ali Chaudhry, Member Quaidabad.
Muhammad Saqlain Anwar Sipra
Liaqat Abbas Bhatti
Syed Shahzaib Haider, President youth wing (Islbd)
Tanveer Aslam Chadhar
Kamil Ali Agha, Senator