ISLAMABAD: Former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf has invited Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan to form an alliance with his All-Pakistan Muslim League (APML), saying he will return to the country before the formation of a caretaker government.

The offer was made by Dr Muhammad Amjad, secretary general of Musharraf-led APML, at a press conference on Wednesday.

In reply to a question about Musharraf’s return, he said: “He will definitely return not only before elections, but before the formation of the caretaker set-up.”

He said Musharraf had offered the PTI chairman an alliance with the APML because he did not have the desire for the office of the prime minister.

“Gen Musharraf has asked Mr Khan that he could be the next prime minister while the former president will only act as an adviser to the PTI chief,” he added.

“Mr Khan has not respon­ded to Gen Musharraf’s offer so far, apparently because he wants a solo flight,” he said.

Dr Amjad said the former president was prepared to face cases being heard by courts against him.

The APML secretary general said Musharraf would contest the elections from the platform of Muttahida Lea­gue (ML), an ally of the APML.

Responding to a question, Dr Amjad ruled out the possibility of Musharraf heading the factions of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP).

He, however, said that the former army chief had invited leaders of these groups to come under the umbrella of the APML.

Answering a question about security of Gen Musharraf after his return, he said that the former president required the same security that had been provided to him earlier.

Referring to allegations levelled against the former ruler of the country that during his tenure a large number of people had gone missing, Dr Amjad said that Gen Musharraf had not handed over Pakistanis to any other country, but he handed over only those foreign nationals to foreign countries who had been involved in acts of terrorism in the country.

“Mostly Chechens were among the 300 foreign nationals handed over to the US authorities,” he added.

He said that a number of Taliban who fought US forces in Afghanistan had been arrested by US-led security forces in Afghanistan and from there they (Taliban) had been sent to the US.

The APML leader rejected the claim of chief of Missing Persons Commission retired Justice Javed Iqbal that over 4,000 people had gone missing during the former army ruler’s era and said that the Supreme Court should conduct an inquiry into the matter to unearth the truth.

He said that people had gone missing even before Gen Musharraf’s rule and this was happening even today.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2018