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Pervez Musharraf Vows Return to Pakistan


Former Pakistani president and military leader Pervez Musharraf has defended his country's fight against terrorism and repeated his vow to run in Pakistan's 2013 presidential election.

Mr. Musharraf, now living in London, spoke on U.S. television Sunday via satellite link. He rejected a recent White House report that contends the Pakistani military avoids fighting al-Qaida and the Taliban. Mr. Musharraf said that report represents a misunderstanding of reality. But he added that he believes the Pakistani government should "strike a deal" with the Taliban to win favor in the Taliban-controlled area near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.

Mr. Musharraf also said he will stay in London for the present to work on building political support before he returns to Pakistan, where he faces legal challenges.

The former leader announced October 2 that he is starting a new political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League. In Pakistan, he faces charges of treason and was the target of at least two assassination attempts while he was in power.

General Musharraf took power in a 1999 military coup. He quit as Pakistan's president in 2008, facing the possibility of impeachment charges, and was replaced by current President Asif Ali Zardari.

Two years ago, Pakistan's ruling coalition accused Mr. Musharraf of imposing emergency rule so he could fire senior judges. They said the move was part of an effort to circumvent legal challenges to his then-plan to run for a second term in office.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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