Musharraf to target non-voters, youth, minorities in his political comeback bid

New York, Nov 10 (ANI): Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf has said that he believes he has "an even chance" of returning to political power in his country's 2013 general elections, and would seek attracting support of those who do not normally vote.

Pakistan is facing a leadership crisis and "no political party (there) today can handle the situation," the Dawn quoted Musharraf, as saying to the Council on Foreign Relations.

"Even getting 25 percent of the non-voters out could break (Pakistan) away from the politics of dynastic rule that brings the country down," said the former military ruler, in a clear reference to the administration of President Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Outlining his election strategy, Musharraf said that he planned to mobilize 60 per cent of the Pakistani electorate- the middle class, women, youth and minorities- that currently stayed away from the polls.

His Facebook account had attracted 350,000 fans, up to 85 percent of who were younger Pakistanis under 34, he pointed out.

Dismissing threats of legal action or personal danger if he returned, Musharraf said that his opponents were trying to scare him because they did not want him to return to Pakistan. "No risk, no gain," he said. "I am prepared to take these risks."

"It's certainly a difficult task (to win) ... but I see it as better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all," he added.

The retired general stopped short of calling for another military takeover of Islamabad, but indicated that he understood why Pakistanis considered it an option.

"Unfortunately, democracy in Pakistan has not taken root," he said, adding, "Public opinion against the government is very negative ... (Pakistanis) then start talking about the army, but I'm talking about democracy and constitutional (change)." (ANI)

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