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Pakistan's Musharraf Attempts Political Comeback

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says he is planning to launch a new political party next month, vowing to introduce a new political culture to Pakistan.

While in Hong Kong Wednesday for an investor conference, Mr. Musharraf said he would debut his party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, on October 1 from London, where he currently resides. The former military ruler is gearing his party towards young Pakistanis and others who are disillusioned with politics, saying he believes his message will resonate with a public eager for change.

He expressed a desire to return to Pakistan in time to run in the next election in 2013.

"My going back is depending certainly on environment to be cleared in Pakistan," he said. "Also that, I would say with certainty in the next election, whenever there is sign of next election come up, I will be there in Pakistan."

If he returns to Pakistan, he could face legal scrutiny over the bloodless coup in October 1999 that brought him to power and his subsequent nine years of military rule. However, Mr. Musharraf dismissed those concerns.

"There are elements who are opposed to me, political elements", he said. "They are the ones who engineer these cases and launch cases in the subordinate judiciary, one has to face all that. I am prepared to face that for the sake of Pakistan. And I know since whatever I did had all the legal backing and legal cover, I am very confident that nothing can happen legally against me."

In 2008, the former army general stepped down after political parties moved to impeach him for violating the constitution by imposing emergency rule so that he could fire senior judges. He was accused of trying to circumvent legal challenges to his plans to run for a second term in office.

Mr. Musharraf has denied any wrongdoing and promised to defend himself against any legal action.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.