The PML-Q was famous bedfellow of the clerical Muttahida Majlis Amal (MMA), created by Musharraf through tweaking the 2002 elections while the PML-N was the well known for its leadership of the inglorious Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), created by the ISI to defeat the PPP in 1990 elections.

Apart from some exceptions, the Muslim League, united or split represents the country’s political reaction to a national security state, which is wedded to a right wing non-liberal ideology and patriotism.

One will have to require political realism to obscure natural divisions that underlie most party groups. This is true of different factions of the Muslim League more than any other party in the country.

The national security state simply could not function if it has not been split and fictionalized. However, if we make a close look, a subsurface rivalry between two powerful families of Punjab was destined to percolate after the Junejo League bifurcated in the post-Zia regime.

Both the PML-N and the PML-Q are family-led parties. It has been proved that the faction tends to wither on the bough if it is not led by a specific family. The fate of the three different units of the PML-Q that peeled off after the exit of Musharraf from the power seat is quite clear example to understand the bitter reality.

There are two major factions in the Muslim League in the post Zia-regime. One was presided over by Muhammad Sharif, the father of Nawaz Sharif, who simply did not favor sharing power with the Gujrat strongman, while, the other was presided over by the ghost of Chaudhry Zahur Elahi.

Chaudhry Brothers represents a region of northern Punjab that has always struggled for recognition within Muslim League under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif.

The contradictions between the two families have been emphasized and enlarged by General Pervez Musharraf.

Demonstrating the contrast to the voters between his governance and of the Sharif Brothers, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi ruled Punjab for a term of five-year. Shahbaz Sharif, who is recognized by many as an ideal autocrat, took the charge in the very next regime.

Sharif Brothers feel bitterness when they listen to appeals for a PML-N and PML-Q merger, as Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, too, ended up doing a good job in Punjab as per the international assessments.

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