Accessibility links

In Islamabad, Mixed Reactions to Musharraf Return


On the streets of Pakistan's capital, reactions to former military president Pervez Musharraf's return to the country's political scene are mixed.

For residents like Azim Ehsan Qazi, the possibility that Musharraf has learned from his past mistakes and subsequent four years of self-imposed exile, could bring a fresh perspective to the May 11 elections.

"It's good for all the Pakistani nation," says Qazi, a gym worker. "He can give us a new view, a new opinion, a new hope, because there are a lot of parties in Pakistan, and different opinions of them, but Musharraf is good. I think he should try. It's good for him."

Others, like advertising manager Syed Asad Abbas, say Musharraf did not do much for Pakistan during his nine years in power, and doubt he'll win much support in the elections.

"No one is with him right now," he says. "Everyone has joined so many parties, and the people who were with him at that time, they have vanished and no-one is standing behind him, or with him. I don't think so that it will be helpful for him."

Pakistan's former president, Pervez Musharraf, addresses a group of supporters following his arrival in Karachi March 24, 2013.

Pakistan's former president, Pervez Musharraf, addresses a group of supporters following his arrival in Karachi March 24, 2013.

Musharraf, who left Pakistan under fear of impeachment in 2008 following personal clashes with the Supreme Court, suspended the Constitution and imposed a state of emergency. There are still legal cases against him pending in the courts.

Speaking at a news conference in the southern city of Karachi, the former military ruler appeared confident of his success.

"At this point in time, I cannot give you the exact assessment, but I hope to win many seats," he said. "I cannot say, as it is said, that I will bring a tsunami. I cannot say that at the moment."

The former military commander has insisted he is the right person for Pakistan.

Others, however, are less sure. Musharraf will have just over six weeks to convince the country that he again deserves to play a political role in the country's future.
  • 16x9 Image

    Sharon Behn

    Sharon Behn is a foreign correspondent working out of Voice of America’s headquarters in Washington D.C  Her current beat focuses on political, security and humanitarian developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Follow Sharon on Twitter and on Facebook.

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG