Former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. —File Photo

DUBAI: Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf has delayed his return home, the head of his party announced Friday after repeated threats by the country’s leadership that the ex-strongman would be arrested upon arrival.

“He finally decided today that he would accept the recommendations” of the executive committee of the All Pakistan Muslim League party to delay his return, party secretary general Mohammed Ali Saif told reporters.

“This decision (of returning) will be deliberated by the core committee of the party,” he said.

Friends and supporters had urged Musharraf to put off an imminent homecoming after Islamabad said he would be arrested if he returned from more than three years of self-imposed exile in London and Dubai.

Speaking to CNN in Davos, Switzerland, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said Musharraf would “certainly” be arrested if he set foot back in Pakistan.

Musharraf had promised to fly home to contest general elections as Pakistan’s government sinks deeper into a major crisis, squeezed by the military and the judiciary.

But he faces two Pakistani court warrants for his arrest in connection with the 2006 death of Akbar Bugti, a rebel leader in the southwest, and the 2007 assassination of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto after her own homecoming.

In an interview broadcast on BBC radio earlier this month, Musharraf acknowledged he would be in danger in Pakistan.

“I do feel endangered. There is a danger certainly, but you take your own protection and then leave things to destiny. Nobody can ensure you 100 per cent protection,” he said.

He admitted that his arrest in Pakistan was possible but said he would “like to remain out” of the crisis engulfing the government, army and judiciary.

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