The Pakistan Muslim League was founded in 1962, as a successor to the previously disbanded Muslim League in Pakistan. Unlike the original PML which ended in 1958 when General Ayub Khan banned all political parties, each subsequent Muslim League was in some way propped by the military dictators of the time: Ayub Khan, General Zia-ul-Haq and General Pervez Musharraf. Every time the pro-establishment political leaders were put together, who splintered apart when the general's blessings faded away. Hence, Pakistan Muslim League refers to several political parties in Pakistan.
Muttahida Muslim League
Muttahida Muslim League led by Pir Pagara is the "assimilation" of majority of the factions of the Pakistan Muslim League, in a bid to mount a strong opposition to the Pakistan Peoples Party led ruling government. It may be noted that all factions will continue to hold their individual identities, as the MML is treated as a platform for parties to come together. "Muttahida" in Urdu means "united". It consists of the following parties:
- PML-F, the Functional Muslim League or Pir Pagaro group, first formed in 1973 when Council and Convention Leagues merged (without Qayyum Muslim League, which was allied with PPP-led government) and elected Pir Pagaro as president. Later on, General Zia got all the Muslim Leagues together, but installed Muhammad Khan Junejo as PML president. Feeling uncomfortable, Pagaro left the party and made his own in 1985. Functional League as it was called merged with PMLQ in 2004 under the patronage of General Musharraf, but Pagaro separated again after a few months to form his own league. In September 2010 the PML-F and PML-Q united, forming the All Pakistan Muslim League (Pir Pagara) . However, the APML has ceased to exist with the formation of this new platform.
- PML-Q, the Quaid-e-Azam group , formed by Mian Muhammad Azhar in 2001 at the behest of the establishment with other like-minded leaders of PMLN including Syeda Abida Hussain, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. Presently headed by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain when he outmaneuvered Mian Azhar to become the president. Officially called Pakistan Muslim League, after the 2004 unification of many smaller PML factions and other regional parties. In September 2010 the PML-Q merged with PML-F, forming the All Pakistan Muslim League (Pir Pagara) . However, the APML has ceased to exist with the formation of this new platform. May be noted here, the PML-Q itself has not joined this alliance as a whole, only a group within the faction known as the "Like-minded" group has joined hands with Pir Pagara. The Chaudhry brothers, as yet, remain out of this.
- PML-J, the Muhammad Khan Junejo group. Officially formed in 1985 as Pakistan Muslim League when General Zia-ul-Haq's government cobbled together many factions of PML and installed Junejo as its president. It was re-formed as PML-Junejo after Junejo's death in 1993 by Hamid Nasir Chattha, Manzoor Wattoo, and Iqbal Ahmed Khan when Nawaz Sharif became president of his own league. Hamid Chattha became the president and Iqbal Ahmed Khan the general secretary. It merged with PML-Q in 2004.
- Awami Muslim League Pakistan, founded in 2008 by Sheikh Rashid Ahmad after differences with PML-Q. Ahmad suggested the unification of all Muslim League parties which resulted in forming the All Pakistan Muslim League led by Pir Pagara in September 2010 .
- PML-Zia, the Zia-ul-Haq Shaheed group, founded by Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq in 2002 after his differences with both Nawaz Sharif's PML-N and Shujaat Hussain's PML-Q. It merged with the Quaid-e-Azam group following general elections in 2002, but after Ijaz left the party, it was revived once more in February 2010.
All Pakistan Muslim League (Pervez Musharraf)
All Pakistan Muslim League (or APML), founded in 2010 by former Army chief and military dictator Pervez Musharraf and supporters breaking away from the PML-Q and PML N.
Pakistan Muslim League (N)
PML-N, the Nawaz Sharif group, ordinarily recognized as original Muslim League was named so after separartion of PML(Q). Formed as PML (Fida Mohammad Khan) in 1988 when it split from Junejo's PML in 1988 after Zia's demise. The new party had Fida Khan as its president and Nawaz Sharif as general secretary. PML-N represents the largest group within Muslim League.
Historically, Pakistan Muslim League can also refer to any of the following political parties in Pakistan:
پاکستان مسلم لیگ نظریاتی