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 are closed.

Comments (51)

March 21, 2013 2:50 am
amazing, he has to give an interview to a rag paper that is given out for free. No more NY Times
Rauf Kadri
March 21, 2013 5:42 am
Actually there is a 50:50 chance that this ex-dictator will be arrested.
March 21, 2013 6:15 am
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
March 21, 2013 6:35 am
50/50 Pervez Musharraf
March 21, 2013 6:44 am
I am supporter of Pervez Mushraf he is better than Nawaz Shareef and Zardari. i love his speech to listen
March 21, 2013 7:30 am
Musharraf will sweep elections if he is given a chance . His timings are perfect Good luck Mr.Musharraf
Rashid Sultan
March 21, 2013 9:30 am
No chance Mushy. Stay overseas and spend your loot in peace.
Mohammad Fawad Khan
March 21, 2013 10:19 am
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.
March 21, 2013 10:28 am
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.
March 21, 2013 11:15 am
Musharraf's party (I don't even recall its name) winning elections in Pakistan? No chance.
Masood Mehdi
March 21, 2013 11:39 am
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
March 21, 2013 11:50 am
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
March 21, 2013 12:26 pm
Its surprising to see that we have people who actually believe mushy (the Lawbreaker and etc etc) can actually win the elections. Splendid! :D
March 21, 2013 12:31 pm
I will be flying with him and you will all see the support and the success. Pakistan First!
March 21, 2013 12:43 pm
Musharraf will not win the election reason being only 11% of Pakistani has wisdom.He certainly get the vote of intellectual.
March 21, 2013 12:44 pm
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
March 21, 2013 12:58 pm
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!
March 21, 2013 12:59 pm
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
March 21, 2013 12:59 pm
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
March 21, 2013 1:01 pm
Funny we call the heads of our military governments dictators even though they are more democratic than our civilian Governments.
Zain Abbass
March 21, 2013 1:02 pm
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.
March 21, 2013 3:07 pm
He has had more exposure to big time newspapers than any other leader of Pakistan.
March 21, 2013 3:11 pm
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
March 21, 2013 4:08 pm
come on mushy please come to pakistan, we need to put you on trial for your crimes.
Mustafa Razavi
March 21, 2013 4:14 pm
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
March 21, 2013 4:23 pm
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
March 21, 2013 5:06 pm
"Return to the country and lead a coalition of forces to victory in the general elections." . Can't see that happening.
Cyrus Howell
March 21, 2013 5:07 pm
Getting a very late start, isn't he?
Cyrus Howell
March 21, 2013 5:08 pm
Does not seem Imran is the answer.
Cyrus Howell
March 21, 2013 5:12 pm
Don't think arresting him would be a very sound idea. He has to be outmaneuvered.
Cyrus Howell
March 21, 2013 5:13 pm
Get the flower petals ready.
March 21, 2013 5:15 pm
He will be lucky if he wins 1 seat.
Farhan zaki
March 21, 2013 5:55 pm
Wat loot are you really referring to ? He was everything but not corrupt !!!
March 21, 2013 7:06 pm
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.
March 21, 2013 7:39 pm
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
March 21, 2013 7:48 pm
In Pakistan anything is possible!
March 21, 2013 7:50 pm
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.
March 21, 2013 9:07 pm
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
March 21, 2013 9:09 pm
Mr. Musharaf is looking for way to the palaces of politics and power through back doors. elections will fix his head.
March 21, 2013 9:25 pm
Sir, with due respect. The only way you will come into power, is through another Coup d'etat.
March 22, 2013 4:39 am
Yeah, and pigs will fly... this article interview by Mushy is hilarious.
Swaran Singh
March 22, 2013 4:51 am
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
March 22, 2013 5:24 am
You will be the only voter for him.
March 22, 2013 6:10 am
Well said. How the mighty have fallen!
Ali Shah
March 22, 2013 6:30 am
All I can say at your statements Mr Musharraf.......LOL
Maulana Diesel
March 22, 2013 6:37 am
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.
March 22, 2013 7:50 am
Mushs Honesty in hidden in overseas bank accts as well
Abdullah Hussain
March 22, 2013 8:45 am
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.
March 22, 2013 10:27 am
Mush without MQM would be better.
March 22, 2013 11:21 am
you can't compare dictatorship with democracy
March 22, 2013 4:02 pm
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?
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