Musharraf due to return to Pakistan

PTI Dubai/Karachi | Updated on March 12, 2018

File Photo of Pakistan's Former President General Pervez Musharraf. Photo: V. Sudershan.

After remaining in self-exile for over four years, Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf is expected return home today to participate in historic elections in May despite a Taliban death threat.

Musharraf will fly from Dubai to Karachi where his supporters are planning to give him a rousing welcome.

The 69-year-old ex-dictator says he is prepared to risk any danger to stand for election on May 11.

“I am going home as announced. I am not scared of anything — be it the death threat from terrorists or the arrest on arrival,” Musharraf said in Dubai after addressing his party supporters at a reception yesterday.

Before leaving his luxury flat for the airport in Downtown Dubai, Musharraf kissed his 94-year-old mother goodbye.

“I am happy I am going back,” Gulf News quoted Musharraf as saying.

Musharraf after arriving at Quaid-e-Azam International airport in Karachi would address a press conference since the authorities have cancelled the NOC for planned holding of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) rally near the mausoleum of the Quaid-e-Azam for security reasons.

Clearing the way for his homecoming, three Pakistani courts on Friday granted him pre-arrest bail in several cases, including the Akbar Bugti and Benazir Bhutto murder cases, in which he has been declared a proclaimed offender.

The former President, who still faces criminal charges in these cases, said he was not afraid to stand trial for the cases evoked against him as most of them were unconstitutional.

Musharraf seized power in a bloodless coup as Army Chief of staff in 1999 and left the country after stepping down in August 2008.

Since he went into self-exile in early 2009, Musharraf has several times announced his intention to return home.

Last year he delayed a planned homecoming after being threatened with arrest.

Political and security analysts believe that Musharraf’s return has only been made possible after some “deals” in which some foreign Governments and the military would have played an influential role.

Published on March 24, 2013

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