Pak political parties ridicule "coward" Musharraf's decision to rejoin politics

Islamabad, Sept 12 (ANI): Top political parties of Pakistan have scoffed at former military ruler Pervez Musharraf's claim of returning to politics, saying that there was no room for him in the country's political arena.

Musharraf's confirmation to reports, that he was forming a new political party in the wake of plans to return to politics in the nation, and he would be standing for a seat in the next parliament, hoping to become either prime minister or president, was greeted with scorn from political rivals, the Dawn reports.

"The former president is a coward man and he will not return to Pakistan. ... Neither does he enjoy public support nor will he find courage to return," said Liaqat Baloch- a leader of Pakistan's largest Islamic party Jamat-i-Islami- adding, "The entire country is engulfed in a serious crisis because of the culture that Musharraf introduced in Pakistan."

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) spokesman- Siddiqul Farooque- also ridiculed him for running away from the country "instead of facing courts of law in Pakistan."

"He (Musharraf) lives in fool's paradise if he thinks he will again become Pakistan's president," Farooque said, adding that the former military ruler should not forget that "whenever he gets out of this hibernation and comes back to Pakistan, he will have to face the courts."

However, a former minister in Musharraf's regime, Dr Sher Afgan Niazi, welcomed the announcement, saying that his return to politics was the "need of the hour and only he can safeguard Pakistan and its interests" as he had the "vision and wisdom" to save the country.

"He (Musharraf) is an asset for this country, who did a great job by protecting vital national interests and strengthening economy and social sector during his tenure," Niazi added.

The 67-year-old Musharraf had announced that he had a good chance of winning the next presidential election due in 2013, and he would return to his country before that to "introduce a new political culture," though he recognised that on his return, he would have to face some legal cases and also that there would be danger to his life.

"Two hundred per cent I will participate in the next election. Standing for myself. Standing for a party that I'll create.... I have fought wars, I have faced dangers and I'm a lucky man. I'll try my luck again and I'm not scared of that," Musharraf said, who is presently living in exile in London.

Musharraf said he was not scared of the threat of legal action against him and insisted that he had to try to lift Pakistan out of its "pathetic situation".

Musharraf ousted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup in 1999. He was the president from 2001 and has mostly lived in London since resigning in 2008. (ANI)

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