ISLAMABAD – Once regarded as a powerful man of Pakistan is now struggling for his political survival while standing at the verge of marginalisation, as Pervez Musharraf-led APML eyes only around 20 seats of the National Assembly (NA) in upcoming general polls.

All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) with special focus on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) is intending to contest from some constituencies of Punjab and Sindh but situation is not yet confirmed, background interviews with APML leader left this impression.

Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, formally launched his party All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) by the mid of 2010, claiming the support of hundreds of cheering supporters. But, the APML with the passage of time suffered blows when the many party’s associates including staunch member late Sher Afghan Niazi started parting ways with the party due to different reasons. Now, party with its thin presence is intending to contest nearly 20 seats of the National Assembly (NA) with special focus on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). “There are suggestions to contest on 20 seats of National Assembly (NA) in upcoming election, but it is yet to finalised,” Gen (Retd) Rashid Qureshi, Central Vice President APML, shared with TheNation.

Qureshi, who is staying away from elections, informed that main players of the party who will contest elections are still not final as this decision will be made shortly.

About the expected arrival of former President and APML chief, Pervez Musharraf, he said that Musharraf would announce his arrival by the end of December. “It is in planning to arrive in Pakistan during interim setup of the country to contest elections,” he maintained.

To a question, he said Musharraf will not only contest from Chitral but from two constituencies of the country with full zeal and zest.

“Pakistan has still lacking leader like Musharraf,” he added. APML’s candidates will contest from Punjab, Sindh and KPK, he replied without mentioning any particular constituencies.

When contacted, APML central leader Amoon Pasha said that party’s manifesto for upcoming elections will be announced after the arrival APML’s senior leader Barrister Saif Ali Khan, who is currently out of country.

Besides Musharraf, he also shared some of the party leaders including Ghulam Rasul Onar, Haleem Khatak, and Alamgir who will contest in upcoming elections.  “APML will win seats from different areas as we are well committed to contest elections and also enjoying good response of people,” he added.

When asked about expected alliance with any political party, he said APML might go for alliance with some political forces in upcoming elections but final decision would be made on the return of party chief.

It would not be out of place to mention here Musharraf, who resigned as president in 2008, has also been declared a proclaimed offender (PO) by Rawalpindi anti-Terrorist Court (ATC) last year. Taking notice of Federal Investigation Agency’s special public prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar’ request, Judge Rana Nisar Ahmed declared the former president a PO.

Political pundits assume that APML’s future would only be in some shape when part’s chief will return in the country as per his claim.