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

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week 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.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid