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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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 Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid