Musharraf announces return to country this month

Friday, March 1st, 2013 9:15:12 by

The self-exiled former President General ® Pervez Musharraf announced on Friday that he would return to the country later this month to take part in parliamentary elections.


Musharraf, the former Army Chief, had been living in exile in Britain and the United Arab Emirate since he resigned from his post in August 2008, fearing an impeachment by the parliament.


He had previously announced on few occasions to end his exile but postponed the plan over concerns at his possible arrest in connection with the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto and several other cases.


Musharraf announced his return at a press conference in Dubai, which was aired live by Pakistani television channels.


He did not announce exact date for the return but said that will come back one week after the establishment of a caretaker government likely on March 16.


The current assemblies will be dissolved on completion of five-year term and new elections will be held within two months.


“I will land either at Karachi airport or Islamabad,” said the former President, flanked by several senior leaders of his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party.


He had launched the APML in exile and said that his party will take part in upcoming general elections likely to be held in May this year. He said that his party will field candidates on almost all seats.


“My return is in the interests of Pakistan. The country future is at stack and there is a need of a positive change in the country,” Musharraf said. He said


He called for free, fair and transparent elections, adding that fair elections could only be held under the army.


The former President said that he would face courts on return and would not care if threats to his life.


An anti-terrorism court has issue arrest warrants in connection with the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. In October last year, a court issued a warrant for his arrest over the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti in a military operation in August 2006.


Musharraf has denied all charges and insists that he will defend himself in courts.


Musharraf seized power in 1999 after he dismissed the elected government of Nawaz Sharif hours after he was sacked as the army chief. He ruled Pakistan until 2008 as the military ruler, the Chief Executive and the President.


Interior Minister, Rehman Malik says that Musharraf will be arrested on his return as courts have issued arrest warrants for him.



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