Pervez Musharraf ends self-exile, returns to Pakistan

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Pervez Musharraf
Karachi, Mar 24: Pakistan's former president Pervez Musharraf who was living in exile for the past four years arrived here on Sunday, ignoring the death threats which had been issued by the Tehrik-e-Taliban.

The plane carrying the erstwhile military ruler of the country landed at the aiport here shortly after 12 p.m. His supporters were present in large numbers to welcome him.

Musharraf appears to be unfazed by the Taliban's threat to kill him in Pakistan. Before boarding a Karachi-bound flight at Dubai, he told Gulf News that "Being an ex-commando with 40 years' service in the army, I can't be intimidated with these cowardly threats".

Earlier he told newspersons that "My return is in the interest of Pakistan. The country's future is at stake and there is a need of a positive change in the country."

Musharraf is hoping to spearhead the All Pakistan Muslim League's poll campaign and also contest the elections due to be held in his country on May 11.

However, he is facing serious charges. Two years ago, an anti-terrorism court issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with the assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Another arrest warrant against Musharraf pertains to the killing of Akbar Bugti, a Baloch nationalist leader, in Aug 2006. Given these court cases, political observers feel that he will find it difficult to mount an effective challenge to the Pakistan People's Party (PPP).

On Saturday, the Taliban made it clear in a six-minute video that Musharraf is their "main target". Ihsanullah Ihsan, spokesman of the Tehrik-e-Taliban, said that the 69-year-old must surrender to them.

Adnan Rashid, a militant who had once tried to kill Musharraf, claimed that some suicide bombers have been trained to strike at the former president.

Citing a military raid on the Lal Masjid in Islamabad during Musharraf's tenure, Adnan Rashid and Ihsanullah Ihsan stressed that if he does not give himself up to the Taliban, they will target him "at such a place" where he least expects an attack.

"We will not leave you alive," the duo warned.

OneIndia News 

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