Musharraf to return to Pakistan in January

December 19th, 2011 - 6:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Pervez Musharraf Islamabad, Dec 19 (IANS) Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, who is living in London in a self-imposed exile, has said he will return home in January, a media report said Monday.

The former president, who is wanted by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan over accusations that he failed to protect former prime minister Benazir Bhutto from being killed in December 2007, had earlier said he would return by March 2012.

In a 32-minute video address from London Sunday, Musharraf — also the founder of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) — focused on President Asif Ali Zardari’s illness, the country’s economy, destruction of profitable state organisations, terrorism and the NATO air strike, The Nation daily reported.

Musharraf said Pakistan was passing through a “permanent state of turmoil” and that the threats faced by the country could only be countered by selecting “wise and credible leaders”.

Terming the NATO air strike in Mohmand Agency that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers as a “dangerous issue”, Musharraf asked the government as well as the people of Pakistan not to handle the issue “emotionally”.

He said the economy of the country was in “complete shambles” and factories were being shut down due to energy crisis.

If he comes to power, the former president said he would initiate dialogue with “extremist elements working inside the country”, the daily reported.

In September, Musharraf announced he would return by March.

“If there is such politicisation that the courts absolutely go berserk and they arrest me or something, which I don’t think is a possibility, well let them arrest me. I’ll go to jail. Let’s see what happens then. I’ll go back,” he told BBC.

Musharraf grabbed power in a bloodless coup in October 1999. He ruled as chief executive 1999-2001 and as president 2001-08.

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