Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pakistan: Musharraf to return this month

Source: IRNA

Islamabad, March 14, IRNA – Self-exiled former Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf would return to Pakistan later this month to take part in parliamentary elections, media reports inidcated here Wednesday.

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.

His press aide Khurram Haris told media that Musharraf would return to Karachi on a public flight on March 24, and would not be detained on his arrival.

“President Musharraf has made it clear that he will present himself to the courts because he believes he hasn’t done anything wrong,” Haris said. Pakistan’s government would provide security for Musharraf, he added.

Musharraf had launched the All Pakistan Muslim League 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.

Pakistan’s parliament is due to be dissolved on March 16. An election has to be held within 90 days, allowing for a period for campaigning and other preparations.

An anti-terrorism court has issued 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.