What’s in a name?
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What’s in a name?

I don’t have much of substance to say about Pervez Musharraf’s re-entry into the body politic in Pakistan beyond what I said a few months ago: that I don’t really see anything wrong with it. If you’re looking for more reading material on Musharraf and his return, check out Umair’s blog post.

I am very curious, however, about one aspect of this whole enterprise, and that is the name Musharraf chose for his party: the All Pakistan Muslim League.

Now, as we all know, recently there was a “not a unification, but an assimiliation of the Muslim League” — the (F) and (Q) splinters of the PML joined forces, and declared their party the All Pakistan Muslim League. Unless I am missing something painfully obvious, it means we have two parties with the same name: one filled with Musharraf’s old turncoats and one with Musharraf’s new turncoats. The obvious thing would be for yet another unification, so that the old APML joins the new APML to make the yet-newer APML, but that’s not in the offing right now, I don’t think.

I really don’t understand this. Why is there such a distinct lack of imagination when it comes to nomenclature for organized political parties in Pakistan? I mean, what’s wrong with stealing stuff from other countries? Why can’t people call their parties “Social Democratic Party” or “People’s Union” or “Republican Party” or whatever? I know there’s a lot to be said for being associated with Jinnah’s name, but I’m pretty sure the effect has worn off by now. Plus, it just sounds stupid that we have 1400 Muslim Leagues.

And that’s not all. How the hell are these parties going to negotiate things like copyright, or web domains? I just visited allpakistanmuslimleague.com, and I have absolutely no clue which party is actually behind the (not yet functional) website. Instead of some indication as to who is behind it, all we get is this flower like thing on the front page:


How titillating is that “coming soon” graphic? Personally, I can’t wait.