Former President Pervez Musharraf.—AFP (File Photo)

NEW YORK: Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has said “it is now or never for me” to return to the country and lead a coalition of forces to victory in the general elections.

In an interview with Metro, a New York tabloid, he said: “There are a number of people and organisations that I call “floaters” in Pakistan,’ and many people are clamouring for me to return. I would say I have a 50/50 chance of success.

“My return will bring hope to them and the chance to work together. Only I can do this” Gen (r) Musharraf said.

Excerpts from the interview follow:

Question: “Why are you taking this risk, which must also be physical?

Answer: After 9/11 I was resigned to personal risk on a daily basis. It was something that became part of my routine. Because I am ex-president of Pakistan, the authorities must provide me with some security when I return — but of course I also have my own arrangements. I have faith that life and death is out of my hands and I have a duty to return to my country to deal with its problems.

Q: There are legal charges against you in Pakistan, a residue of your presidency. How will you deal with this obstacle?

A: “I will simply appeal to the judicial process. One has to have faith in the courts even though there is a history of judicial activism. I am 100 per cent confident that these false, trumped-up and politically motivated charges against me will be thrown out.”

Q: What are your chances of success?

A: If you listen to commentators, they will tell you that my party does not have the internal structure to fight an election. It is simply not true. We are established with organisations across the country and some major political players are just waiting for my return to offer their support. There are a number of people and organisations that I call floaters in Pakistan, and my return will bring hope to them and the chance to work together. Only I can do this. Many people are clamouring for me to return. I would say I have a 50/50 chance of success.


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Comments (51) (Closed)


Triq
Mar 21, 2013 02:50am
amazing, he has to give an interview to a rag paper that is given out for free. No more NY Times
Rauf Kadri
Mar 21, 2013 05:42am
Actually there is a 50:50 chance that this ex-dictator will be arrested.
Abid
Mar 21, 2013 06:15am
Mr. President Gen. Pervaiz Musharaff Pakistan is waiting for your leadership to take the nation from this quagmire nation is in at the present.
ZUR Khan
Mar 21, 2013 06:35am
50/50 Pervez Musharraf
mumtaz
Mar 21, 2013 06:44am
I am supporter of Pervez Mushraf he is better than Nawaz Shareef and Zardari. i love his speech to listen
ABID MOHIUDDIN
Mar 21, 2013 07:30am
Musharraf will sweep elections if he is given a chance . His timings are perfect Good luck Mr.Musharraf
Rashid Sultan
Mar 21, 2013 09:30am
No chance Mushy. Stay overseas and spend your loot in peace.
Mohammad Fawad Khan
Mar 21, 2013 10:19am
Mr. Perveez Musharraf is brave and courageous but one thing i would like to say that he must be more flexible about Islam. No one will harm him. I wish him success in every aspect of life.
A.Vetta
Mar 21, 2013 10:28am
I have never been fond of dictators. In this case the retired General has his own advisors and compulsions. Therefore, he is unlikely to take heed of the ‘advice’ from an insignificant person like myself. Despite this, I would request him not to go to Pakistan because freedom in a western country is much better than imprisonment in Pakistan. No foreign country will come to his assistance when a Pak Court sends him to prison.
observer
Mar 21, 2013 11:15am
Musharraf's party (I don't even recall its name) winning elections in Pakistan? No chance.
Masood Mehdi
Mar 21, 2013 11:39am
Dear Musharaf sb, Being the Pakistani resident, we are missing you alot as the so called democratic government has broken all records of curruption and inflation. You with MQM can make the future of Pakistan. Inshallah
Muhib
Mar 21, 2013 11:50am
Pervez Musharraf has said “it is now or never for me” ......... Yeh sure he is close to being arrested for all the loot and destruction.
Good job, so called nationalists
Mar 21, 2013 12:26pm
Its surprising to see that we have people who actually believe mushy (the Lawbreaker and etc etc) can actually win the elections. Splendid! :D
Asad
Mar 21, 2013 12:31pm
I will be flying with him and you will all see the support and the success. Pakistan First!
KH
Mar 21, 2013 12:43pm
Musharraf will not win the election reason being only 11% of Pakistani has wisdom.He certainly get the vote of intellectual.
Feroz
Mar 21, 2013 12:44pm
Those of you that are not from NYC, please note that the newspaper "Metro" is a free paper found on the subway stations.
Zain Abbass
Mar 21, 2013 12:58pm
If you cannot even remember the name of the party maybe you shouldn't be commenting on political issues. You seem to be proud of your ignorance!
Karthik
Mar 21, 2013 12:59pm
I think Imran khan will be the only one who can do something for Pakistan. He uses his brains and does not mind calling a spade a spade
Zain Abbass
Mar 21, 2013 12:59pm
What loot? There is not a single corruption case against him. Do you enjoy making up things in your head and believing them to be reality?
Zain Abbass
Mar 21, 2013 01:01pm
Funny we call the heads of our military governments dictators even though they are more democratic than our civilian Governments.
Zain Abbass
Mar 21, 2013 01:02pm
This is seriously one of the dumbest posts I have read in a long time. I think it is time for you to stop commenting.
Assad
Mar 21, 2013 03:07pm
He has had more exposure to big time newspapers than any other leader of Pakistan.
Assad
Mar 21, 2013 03:11pm
Pakistan needs an alternate from the usual lot i.e. the NS and Zardari armies of lotas. Imran Khan and Musharraf can provide Pakistanis options that are at least personally not corrupt. In the land of the pure, this is not a commodity found very easily! I wish Musharraf and Imran Khan the very best and I hope combined, does not mean in an alliance, these two can put a significant dent in the voting base of the two most corrupt parties in the history of Pakistan i.e. PPP and PML-N.
nasir siddique
Mar 21, 2013 04:08pm
come on mushy please come to pakistan, we need to put you on trial for your crimes.
Mustafa Razavi
Mar 21, 2013 04:14pm
He is an honest man but fear of America had the better of him, this time I am voting honest and courageous and we have one.
Mustafa Razavi
Mar 21, 2013 04:23pm
Even so, that need not have any bearing on his chances for elections. He is more likely to be a victim of a terrorist attack than prosecution. Most of his opponents are thoroughly capable of murder and very apt and experienced at it.
Cyrus Howell
Mar 21, 2013 05:06pm
"Return to the country and lead a coalition of forces to victory in the general elections." . Can't see that happening.
Cyrus Howell
Mar 21, 2013 05:07pm
Getting a very late start, isn't he?
Cyrus Howell
Mar 21, 2013 05:08pm
Does not seem Imran is the answer.
Cyrus Howell
Mar 21, 2013 05:12pm
Don't think arresting him would be a very sound idea. He has to be outmaneuvered.
Cyrus Howell
Mar 21, 2013 05:13pm
Get the flower petals ready.
Sami
Mar 21, 2013 05:15pm
He will be lucky if he wins 1 seat.
Farhan zaki
Mar 21, 2013 05:55pm
Wat loot are you really referring to ? He was everything but not corrupt !!!
ozman
Mar 21, 2013 07:06pm
Forget about ellection. In pakistan we do not ellect parties, we vote for individuals. So lets have a referandom on between musharaf, Navaz, Zardari and Imran.And see who wins. I bet Musharaf will do better then all other. Guaranteed.
sk
Mar 21, 2013 07:39pm
Musharrraf and Zardari are the two sides of the same coin. If there was no NRO there won't be any Zardari /PPP and the much shame and misery to the people of Pakistan. Even his long rule was a mixed bag of mediocre performance. No second chance. We need fresh ideas and new faces. Musharraf carries too much baggage and his close ties with US would be big issue in electing him..
Karachi Wala
Mar 21, 2013 07:48pm
In Pakistan anything is possible!
Jeff
Mar 21, 2013 07:50pm
I am a supporter of Mushy but how can he fix this country when he failed to do so when he had an Iron hammer.
Mustafa
Mar 21, 2013 09:07pm
Pakistan needs a fighter with military experience to wipe out and get rid of all militants, terrorists, the enemies of humanity from the surface of Pakistan and unite all Pakistanis as one nation with full support of civil and military leaders. This job is definitely next to impossible for Mr. Zardari, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, Mr Imran Khan or any existing Pakistani leader within Pakistan. There are greater chances of Musharraf being able to bring about changes.
Salman Saifi
Mar 21, 2013 09:09pm
Mr. Musharaf is looking for way to the palaces of politics and power through back doors. elections will fix his head.
Awan
Mar 21, 2013 09:25pm
Sir, with due respect. The only way you will come into power, is through another Coup d'etat.
adnan
Mar 22, 2013 04:39am
Yeah, and pigs will fly... this article interview by Mushy is hilarious.
Swaran Singh
Mar 22, 2013 04:51am
Mush will make a very heavy impact in certain areas. I wish Imran Khan can join hands with him or they will both harm each other in vote share. SW
farid
Mar 22, 2013 05:24am
You will be the only voter for him.
Pakistani
Mar 22, 2013 06:10am
Well said. How the mighty have fallen!
Ali Shah
Mar 22, 2013 06:30am
All I can say at your statements Mr Musharraf.......LOL
Maulana Diesel
Mar 22, 2013 06:37am
Mush leave it. We know you are honest but things have changed drastically. Its now Zardari and Nawaz era (All Corrupt to the hilt). Let them enjoy the seasons. They will for sure soon join you in UK.
Rauf
Mar 22, 2013 07:50am
Mushs Honesty in hidden in overseas bank accts as well
Abdullah Hussain
Mar 22, 2013 08:45am
If we compare the era of Musharraf with the era of Zardari, for general public Musharraf is the winner. We had less problems & less corruption.
Saj
Mar 22, 2013 10:27am
Mush without MQM would be better.
John
Mar 22, 2013 11:21am
you can't compare dictatorship with democracy
Hakeem
Mar 22, 2013 04:02pm
I'm sorry but if we follow your judgement, Abraham Lincoln is a criminal that should have been hanged? Do you know that he suspended the constitution?