Islamabad, Nov 11: Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday announced an alliance of 23 political parties to take on Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the upcoming general elections next year. Musharraf, 74-year-old, will be heading the coalition, named Pakistan Awami Ittehad (PAI) whereas Iqbal Dar was appointed as the Secretary-General of the ambitious coalition.

Addressing a meeting via video conferencing, Musharraf emphasised that all parties representing Muhajir (migrant) community should be united. He also invited Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) to join the alliance.

“MQM-Pakistan is merely half of what the (original) party used to be,” he said. “I am concerned about (the internal problems) of the party; however, I have no interest in replacing Farooq Sattar or Mustafa Kamal even if their parties are united,” he added.

Musharraf also tried to woo another significant player into the politics of Pakistan, former cricketer Imran Khan. The former president also advised Pakistan Tehhreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan to “join hands with a group that would take Pakistan forward”.

Musharraf was charged with treason by a special court last year. He was declared an absconder in the Benazir Bhutto murder case in August this year. Musharraf claimed that he was ready to face all charges as the courts are not under “Nawaz Sharif’s control anymore”.

“The accountability process should not be affected by my arrival (to Pakistan),” the former military dictator said, adding that the courts and the armed forces must be “allowed” to function as both institutions are working in the country’s favour.

(With inputs from agencies)