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Musharraf Vows to Face Charges in Pakistan

  • VOA News

FILE - Pakistan's former President and head of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) political party Pervez Musharraf salutes as he arrives to unveil his party manifesto for the general election in Islamabad.
Pakistan's former military ruler has given his first interview since being placed under house arrest eight months ago.

Pervez Musharraf said in a televised interview Thursday with Pakistan's ARY News that he will remain in Pakistan to face the criminal charges pending against him.

Musharraf told ARY that he did not do anything wrong. He said "whatever I did was for the betterment and welfare of Pakistan and its people."

Pakistan's government said in November it would try Musharraf for treason, punishable by death or life imprisonment, for imposing emergency rule in 2007. It will be the first time in Pakistan's history that a former military ruler will face trial for treason.

Musharraf is also facing four criminal cases dating to his 1999-2008 rule, including one related to the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

Musharraf seized power in a 1999 coup while serving as army chief. He stepped down in 2008 under souring public opinion. Musharraf lived in exile for several years before returning in March, intending to run for public office. He was arrested soon after he re-entered the country and was put under house arrest in April.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.