Former President Pervez Musharraf.—AFP (File Photo)

DUBAI: Former Pakistani President and military dictator, Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf announced on Friday that he would return to the country within a week after the interim government takes control.

The ex-strongman made the announcement barely weeks before March 16, when assemblies are expected to be dissolved and a caretaker government appointed to oversee general elections in Pakistan.

“I have decided that I will return to Pakistan within one week after the formation of the caretaker government, likely to be set up by March 16,” he told a news conference in Dubai.

Asked if he planned to run for president, Musharraf said: “The presidency will come at a later stage. Now I'm going back for the parliamentary elections and hope my party does well.”

“When I look at these conditions that the country is in, I know that my return to Pakistan is crucial. And I will return to my beloved country,” he said. “Now or never, now or never!”

The former president faces two court warrants for his arrest in connection with the 2006 death of Akbar Bugti and the 2007 assassination of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

“People say that there are cases against me and there is danger. I am not afraid of dangers and I leave it to God,” Musharraf said.

The All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) chief has been in self-imposed exile for five years since the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was elected into power with a coalition government in 2008.

This is not the first time that Musharraf has announced his plans of returning to his country.

Last year, he said he would fly home to contest elections. However, his plans of returning have yet to materialise. The former military chief had put off his scheduled arrival to Karachi in the last week of January this year on the reported advice of his well-wishers in the army.

He told a group of supporters in New York last month that he had delayed his return because of security concerns.

This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that an elected government is set to complete its full five-year term and transfer power to another administration after general elections in mid-May.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (36)

Jamshed Khan
March 1, 2013 3:40 pm
Let's hope you have done your homework.
March 1, 2013 3:42 pm
correction. musharraf bever clamped down martial law at all .he was not a dictator. under him the democratically elected govt completed its 5 yesr term for the first time not now. history should not be written with a biased mind.period
Syed Ahmed
March 1, 2013 3:49 pm
Wish him best of luck.
March 1, 2013 3:19 pm
come into my parlour
March 1, 2013 3:18 pm
Do I see Dr Tahir ul Qadri and dictator's nexus here.
March 1, 2013 4:38 pm
Good decision, hopefully care taker government will be impartial and will not threaten him of severe consequences upon his return. Hope he will be given fare chance to contest elections as he gave to PPP and PMLN to contest in last elections.
Mushtaq Ahmad
March 1, 2013 4:34 pm
Can Musharaf Sahib be trusted ?
Imran A.
March 1, 2013 2:48 pm
Looking forward to your return Sir Musharaf.
March 1, 2013 2:48 pm
Now this should be fun :D. Let's see if Army lets the govt. to arrest him or hyper active chief justice takes suo-moto action.
March 1, 2013 6:08 pm
The proof of the pudding is in the eating.......................let him come and then we'll know he has come.
mehmood h. bhanji
March 1, 2013 6:46 pm
welcome back to our Pakistan yiu have every right to return, equal protection under the law
March 1, 2013 6:53 pm
how cowardly.....why didnt he come back before faced the court cases filed against him.
1964 Moon
March 1, 2013 7:02 pm
I would love for him to win and put the country back on track. He was the best and is still the best options that Pakistan has.
Amir from Toronto
March 1, 2013 7:15 pm
I dont' know I am right or wrong but Musharraf is the best bet for Pakistan. I support Imran too. All other parties are useless and they SOLD OUT pakistan and his people.
March 1, 2013 7:46 pm
Lol we do remember him repeating "may kisi say nahi darta" "I am not afraid of anyone" but tell you what Gen (Retd)... you are biggest coward in the history of Pakistan military. You dare not come back ...nothing left for you here you already had your share (sucking masses blood). You are good in .uk .. enjoy the wealth you looted and forget to take a ... nap in the castle you build in Chake Shahzad Can someone please tell me why Gen (Retd) want to come back when he is already DONE?
March 1, 2013 8:09 pm
Former president and former PM must be trialed on Korgil issue through Sou Motu.
March 1, 2013 9:35 pm
Musharraf cannot even win 1 seat with his APML, why is he even bothering to stand for election ? Is his savior complex too strong ? Mr Musharraf already failed to be a savior during his long rule.
March 1, 2013 10:10 pm
Welcome back Mr. President ... The country needs you.
March 1, 2013 10:25 pm
Thank you general. Because of your eight-year rule Pakistan is now a wonderful country. A citadel of peace and tranquility indeed. As we have enough saviours already, one more cook would only spoil the broth. As the Canadian found out.
March 1, 2013 10:38 pm
He is a spent force. He had 8 years at the top to improve the situation in Pakistan. What did he do? Fired the Chief Justice of Pakistan and protected Osama bin Laden. What does he want to do this time?
March 1, 2013 11:05 pm
Looks like Musharraf's end is near.
March 1, 2013 11:51 pm
Announces return to Pakistan? For how many time, like the fifteenth time?
March 2, 2013 12:25 am
Cant wait to vote for you and your party! May Allah be with you and hope you are allowed to participate in the elections.
March 2, 2013 1:33 am
Need to be arrested and swiftly hanged. For Crimes against Islam And muslims.
March 2, 2013 3:29 am
why not.... other had beep the country 3 and 4 time why not him,, let him come and do what he do best WELCOME MUSHE
Nazir K Ali
March 2, 2013 4:49 am
Mr. Musharraf has spoken many times of his imminent arrival in the country to BRAVELY GO WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE..........EXCEPT ZULFIKAR ALI BHUTTO. ZAB...a brave man who went to the gallows for what he believed was good for Pakistan and today we have it. He has remained without peers to date and with his knowledge, romance with politics and a flair for accomplishment, he remains the envy of today's politicians. These politicians can rightly be flushed down the drain and nobody will give a second thought. Mr. Musharraf in his initial years was what the people expected but finally melting before the machinations of the PMLQ and USA. Subsequently, he went further by taking backward somersaults against the Hudood Ordinance and Police Act not forgetting the Karachi massacre of May 12 2007. Even worse was his humiliation of the Supreme Court Chief Justice, which has rankled even his staunchest supporters to abort him as a liability. Let him come back and face the courts and politicians who will pursue him indirectly on a racial bias. The big question is what will be the reaction of the army? Frankly, the army will Inshallah distance itself and look outward to safeguarding the borders and leave the internal mess of the politicians for them to sort out, which by themselves seems unlikely. In the end count, Mr. Musharraf is a 'chala huwa kartoos.' Salams 2013 and after???
Abdur Razzaque
March 2, 2013 5:02 am
"History is a mirror of the past, and a lesson for the present".
March 2, 2013 1:14 pm
March 2, 2013 4:56 pm
Mr.Mushraff and Mr. Imran Khan are the only two honest and credile leaders in Pakistan. I hope these two leaders win the election and take the charge.
March 2, 2013 6:11 pm
Will he or will he not come? He announced many times in past, that he will come to his "beloved country" but did not keep his promises.. Anyway, even if he comes, what can he do? The military that was behind him dares not to openly support him, the profiteers who were telling Yes, Yes, Yes will not be interested in him anymore seeing his chances in the coming elections. His property is not his- .. Does he want to pose as a "bechara" man who has lost everything for his country? And how dares he to announce his participation in the democratic elections? Did he not make a joke of whatever democracy was left in this country? Better he keeps giving interesting interviews to foreign channels and try to pose as a diplomat rather than trying to grab power in pakistan.. I think it will also be better for pakistan if this dictator does not return.
March 3, 2013 8:29 am
Those who do not have respect for the law of the land should have no right to contest the elections.
March 3, 2013 12:39 pm
We want Musharraf this nation needs people like him ... look at what this government has given us in 5-years not an iota of progress in any state institution instead corruption in PIA, looted Railways, Land mafia, looted rental power, prime-minister with arrest warrants, President and the team associated with scams ... unabated blood-shed, no control over law and order, load-shedding etc, etc...
March 2, 2013 8:18 pm
My fellow Pakistani Bhai Musharaf think with straight head do not go back, I personally admired your services to Pakistan today what Pakistani media is credit go to you, from London take a flight to Chicago open halal restaurant and serve Pakistani community halal food I heard you like drinking I will be happy to be your drinking buddy whenever you feel like drinking chilled beer, you re over 60 enjoy your life you had served Pakistan very well now it s time to enjoy your life if you re reading my comment think over before going to Karachi . God Bless You
March 2, 2013 8:57 pm
its the final countdown .................
Afifa Khan
March 3, 2013 5:57 am
The only person whom I want to give vote is U.
March 3, 2013 12:35 pm
Mr. Musharaf, what can you do to Pakistan now. You served your time, now let others perhaps young persons to take over. Same message is for Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, not again please. You do not own Pakistan, you all have done what you though was good for the country. Let this country to move on now, not to go back.
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