Musharraf returns, vows to save Pak
Karachi (PTI): Former Pakistani military dictator Pervez Musharraf on Sunday ended nearly four years of self-exile by flying into Karachi despite...
Karachi (PTI): Former Pakistani military dictator Pervez Musharraf on Sunday ended nearly four years of self-exile by flying into Karachi despite Taliban death threat, saying that he would face the security, political and legal challenges that lay ahead. Musharraf, 69, along with his delegation of around 150 people including his party supporters and journalists landed at Jinnah International airport in Karachi by a chartered Emirates flight from Dubai. Talking to reporters within the aircraft that flew him from Dubai to Karachi, a smiling Musharraf said, "It is a very emotional moment. I'm going back after four years. There are a lot of challenges. There are security challenges, legal challenges, political challenges. But I will face them." Addressing his supporters after his arrival at the Karachi airport, Musharraf said that he had come to Pakistan to restore peace and save the country. "I admire your passion," Musharraf told his supporters at the Karachi Airport. "People were trying to scare me. I only fear Allah, no one else. The people ordered me to come back and save Pakistan. I have placed my life in jeopardy but I have returned," he said. The former President said that he had come to restore the Pakistan he left when he went in self-exile four years ago. "Where has the Pakistan I left years ago gone," he asked the crowd. "My heart cries tears of blood when I see the state of the country today. I urge all of you to stop in-fighting. Karachi belongs to all of Pakistan."A Musharraf said that he plans to restore the new Pakistan to Quaid-e-Azam's Pakistan with the All Pakistan Muslim League and ended his speech by leading chants of "We Will Save Pakistan." He is expected to stay in Karachi for two days before going to Islamabad where he ruled the country as chief executive and then president from 1999 to 2008. Earlier, in a message posted on Twitter shortly before he boarded a flight from Dubai, Musharraf wrote: "I will arrive in Karachi today, March 24th, at 1 pm & address a public rally at the airport at 5 pm in the evening." He also tweeted a photo of him leaving his Dubai home. He later tweeted another photo of himself saying, "Settled in my seat on the plane to begin my journey home." Other tweets like, "I am feeling nostalgic....I miss Pak...I love Pak...What people want, that will happen," also followed. The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan said it had formed a squad of suicide bombers to target Musharraf on his return. In another message posted on Twitter, Musharraf said, "Pakistan must crush terrorism and extremism." Musharraf had left Pakistan on April 19, 2009, saying he was going abroad for a series of lectures. He did not return from that trip and several courts issued arrest warrants for the former President in connection with the killings of former premier Benazir Bhutto and Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti. Musharraf obtained pre-arrest bail from the Sindh High Court ahead of his return. The former President told Pakistan journalists on the flight he had nostalgic feelings about returning home as he had missed Pakistan and loved his country. "I know there are security threats to my life but one has to take risks in life and my decision to return home is a calculated one," Musharraf said. He admitted he had some concerns about what to expect in Pakistan now.A "Basically there are a lot of unknown factors especially of terrorism and extremism and still unresolved legal issues with the main question will I be allowed to contest the elections," he said.
17 Jan 2020 11:53 AM GMT