News / Asia

Musharraf Returns to Pakistan After Four-Year Exile

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.
x
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.
Ayaz Gul
— Pakistan’s former military president Pervez Musharraf has returned home after four years of self-imposed exile. He is now running in upcoming parliamentary elections, despite death threats from Taliban extremists and pending legal challenges.
 
Former Pakistan army general Pervez Musharraf arrived in Karachi on a flight from Dubai, ending four years of exile. As was expected by many in Pakistan, only a few hundred supporters gathered outside the airport to welcome the man who seized power in a bloodless military coup in 1999, and who went on to rule the country for nearly a decade.  
 
Critics remain skeptical about Musharraf’s chances for a come-back. Many Pakistanis blame his policies for the country’s current energy crisis, economic hardships and rise in extremism. 
 
The former military man sounded upbeat about regaining political influence as he briefly addressed the small crowd shouting slogans in his support. General Musharraf mocked critics who said personal threats to his safety and pending legal proceedings would keep him away.
 
He said his opponents are trying to scare him, but he “only fears God and no one else”.  As the former military commando put it, “I have risked my life, but I want to save Pakistan."
 
Musharraf resigned as president because political forces that won the elections in 2008 had threatened to impeach him, and a few months later he left Pakistan.
 
Pakistani Taliban militants have threatened to kill Musharraf upon his return. While in power, the former general survived two assassination attempts by al-Qaida-linked extremists. Under his leadership Pakistan joined the U.S.-led war against Islamist extremists, and launched military offensives on militant sanctuaries in the country’s restive tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.
 
There are also several cases pending in Pakistani courts linking him to the assassination of former leader Benazir Bhutto and a key nationalist leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti, charges the former president has repeatedly denied. Musharraf’s legal advisors managed to arrange pre-arrest bail in all the cases, paving the way for his return on Sunday.

Upcoming poll
 
The former president arrived on a day when Mir Hazar Khan Khoso was appointed as a caretaker prime minister to lead the government until May 11, when national elections are to be held. 
 
Pakistan’s Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin Ibrahim made the long-awaited announcement at a crowded news conference in Islamabad, promising a free and fair vote.
 
“It is a very important issue. This gentleman is going to hold free and fair elections along with us.  No doubt he (Khoso) is the government, but he is also obliged to assist us in holding free and fair elections.”
 
Political parties have welcomed the appointment of 84-year old Khoso as the caretaker prime minister, a former chief justice of the violence-hit Baluchistan province. Speaking to reporters in Islamabad, the caretaker chief executive promised the upcoming elections will be held on time.
 
Khoso also urged nationalist groups from his home province of Baluchistan to take part in the political process. The resource-rich southwestern Pakistani region is plagued with a low-level Baloch insurgency.
 
Continuing violence there along with Taliban militant violence in the northwest is seen as a major threat to the elections.
 
This is the first time in Pakistan's history an elected government has completed its full term, and a democratic transition is set to take place after the May vote.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kafantaris from: Ohio
March 24, 2013 11:32 PM
Musharraf is the only one around with the experience and wherewithal to save Pakistan.
And that he may die in his efforts to do so speaks of his sincerity.


by: MUSTAFA from: PAKISTAN
March 24, 2013 10:53 PM
What is use of this election, if educated,professional and honest people cannot stand in this election because Taliban will kill them with in seconds after their announcement. It means only people with bad character can stand and win election. So it means our problem will remain unsolve even after election because un educated and crimnal will come AGAIN to increase personal bank balance in short time and then settle in Dubai or any place in western country.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid