Lahore: Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf`s ally Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has equated him with former premier Nawaz Sharif, saying both leaders fled Pakistan to secure their personal interests.
Elahi, a senior leader of the PML-Q that was in power during Musharraf`s regime, said Sharif signed a 10-year agreement with the former military ruler and left Pakistan without considering what would happen to members of his PML-N party whom he was leaving behind.
"Similarly, Gen Musharraf also left the country to secure his personal interests," Elahi told reporters. Elahi said the leaders of the PML-Q are "older politicians" than both Musharraf and Sharif.
Elahi said it was every citizen`s right to form a party and the PML-Q had not as yet decided to support Musharraf`s effort to revive his career by launching the All Pakistan Muslim League.
"Parties of those who have some repute are recognised. We contested our first election in 1977 and at that time perhaps Gen Musharraf was a mere major in the army and Mr Sharif was a businessman," he said.
He said President Asif Ali Zardari`s Pakistan People`s Party and Sharif`s PML-N were hoodwinking the people by pretending to fight against each other.
"They contest elections together, form a government and then make false promises. This is not a friendly but an official opposition," he said.
Responding to a question about the unification of the various factions of the Muslim League, Elahi said an earlier attempt in this direction had failed because of Sharif and his brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
Meanwhile, the PML-Q`s top leaders have demanded that the government should take effective steps for projecting Pakistan`s "soft and positive image" in the world instead of wasting billions of rupees on the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and other "unproductive activities".
PML-Q president and former premier Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said creative artists, writers, poets, singers, musicians and others associated with fine arts could play a major role in projecting Pakistan`s soft and positive image abroad.
The government should organise their creative activities instead of wasting resources on unproductive programmes, he said.