A day after resigning as the chairman of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), Pervez Musharraf has clarified that he has not yet quit politics.
Musharraf, in a video message, said he had been planning to contest the upcoming general elections but wanted certain assurances, including that of not being arrested, the removal of lifetime disqualification and his name from the Exit Control List.
"If Khawaja Asif's lifetime disqualification can be overturned, why not mine," he asked. "If Nawaz Sharif has the freedom to move in and outside the country, why can I not have it."
The former president said that since those assurances were not given, he knew he could not do anything for his party or for himself and, therefore, after consultation with other APML leaders, he decided not to return to the country.
The former army chief said that the decision was taken because of legal issues and that he would continue to support the party he founded. He also said that his future plan of action would be announced as things unfold and assured his followers that things will take a turn for the better.
Moreover, he requested his party to support its new chairman, Dr Amjad Shoaib and Mehreen Malik Adam, who has been elevated to the position of secretary general.
Musharraf, who is facing a treason case among others, has not returned to the country since he left for Dubai in 2016 for medical treatment.
"I am a commando and I love my homeland," he had said before leaving. "I will be back in a few weeks or months."
The Supreme Court had recently allowed Musharraf to file his nomination papers and assured him that he would not be arrested conditional to him appearing before the court for a case, but he chose not to end his self-imposed exile.