ISLAMABAD - Only four Muslim Leagues (MLs), out of the total 22 sharing this brand name, look to have ground presence at the political scene as the number of parties registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan now touches 200.Compared to the ML’s notably large number, only five parties are registered under ‘People’s Party’ nomenclature and all of them have some political following in the areas they are operating.The overwhelming majority of ML catalogued parties is visibly confined to the papers only. The latest edition to this list is Pakistan Muslim League-Humkhiyal (Likeminded), which was registered as a separate party with the ECP along with six other parties last Wednesday.Except for the Nawaz, Quaid-e-Azam, Likeminded and Functional twigs of the ML tree, all the remaining eighteen branches have either highly limited set-up in their certain areas or they have no practical presence at all.These paralysed or completely dried out ML branches are: PML, Pervaiz Musharaff’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), Sheikh Rasheed’s Awami Muslim League Pakistan (AMLP), Ijazul Haq’s PML-Zia, PML-Qasim, PML-Qayyum Group, PML-Sher-e-Bangal, Pakistan National Muslim League, PML-Junejo, PML-Jinnah, Pakistan Fatima Jinnah Muslim League, PML-Haqiqi, Muttahida Muslim League, PML-Muttahida, People’s Muslim League Pakistan, PML Council, PML Democratic, and PML-Safdar.The registration of PML-Q has seen the delegation of the entire political activity on part of the Q-League from PML to PML-Q. Yet, PML is still officially registered as a separate party. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain heads both PML-Q and PML as their President while the political mandates, manifestos, party set-ups, organisational hierarchies, functions and even the postal addresses of both the parties available with the ECP are same.Furthermore, as per the election commission’s record, Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif officially head’s the APML as its Chief Organiser, while General (r) Pervaiz Musharraf, the party’s Chairman, is not notified as APML chief, in the ECP data.The PML-Likeminded headed by former Senator Salim Saifullah Khan appeared as a breakaway faction of the PML-Q in 2009 owing to its differences with the parent party on different political issues. The Q-Leaguer’s had moved ECP in order to get the Likeminded leaders as well as over 50 legislators of Punjab Assembly disqualified who had parted ways with the PML-Q and made a forward bloc but were technically part of the party. The matter is still pending with the commission.Some two years ago, the PML-Q and PML-F had joined hands to form a political alliance at the joint political platform of All Pakistan Muttahida Muslim League Alliance (APMMLA) headed by the late Pir Pagara, Syed Mardan Ali Shah. However, this alliance was never officially contemplated as no such party with the name as APMMLA stands registered with the ECP. Muttahida Muslim League, a registered party, mentions one Chaudhry Nasir Mehmood advocate as its chairman.On the other hand, the five PPs registered with the ECP are: the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians, PPP-Shaheed Bhutto, PPP-Sherpao, PPP-Patriots and National Peoples Party (NPP). The PPP-SB is led by its chairperson Ghinwa Bhutto. Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, son of the late Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, heads NPP. Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao heads PPP-S while the late Rao Sikandar Iqbal founded PPP-Patriots that is now managed by his sons.Compared to the PPPP, which is presently rated as the largest political party, three of the remaining four PPs have regional presence in interior Sindh where they have considerable following while PPP Patriots is based in Okara, Punjab. Former leaders of the PPPP who parted ways with their party out of differences, or their family members, have formed their own factions as counter political forces against the ruling PPPP.