Musharraf says he will return to politics "for the greater cause of Pakistan"

Posted By: Nairita Das
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London, Sep 26 (ANI): Pakistan's former military leader Pervez Musharraf, a prominent figure on the global lecture circuit for the last two years, has declared that he wants to re-enter his nation's political arena "for the greater cause."

"I am very comfortable travelling around the world on lectures, but I am going into politics for the greater cause of Pakistan," The Sunday Telegraph quoted Musharraf, as saying in an interview.

"The people have reached the end of their hopes, and I want to try to rekindle their faith in both themselves and Pakistan itself. It would be better to try and fail rather than not to try at all," he added.

Musharraf was also against an early pullout of troops in neighbouring Afghanistan, warning that the US-led plans to start troops withdrawal by the middle of next year would lead to the region becoming a "nexus for terrorists."

"I am not trying to portray a doomsday scenario unnecessarily, but the implications would be very serious for Afghanistan, Pakistan and the rest of world," he said, adding, "It would encourage and strengthen the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, giving them a country to fall back on. Quitting cannot be time related, it has to be effect related."

Commenting on what he called "bring the boys home" sentiment in Britain, he bluntly said, "I don't understand why there is this issue when an army suffers casualties. Of course you try to keep them to a minimum, and I offer my deep condolences to the family of any soldier is killed, but I would also ask their parents: 'Why was it that they joined the army?' All voluntary armies face occasions where they have to maybe fight for their country and sacrifice their lives."

Although Musharraf refused to comment on Asif Ali Zardari's performance as Pakistan's president, he noted, "There is a hell of a lot of disappointment among the people over the way the flood relief was tackled."

He also opined that the current situation in the country required unity of thought and action between the three elements- the political forces, the army and the bureaucracy- and "an individual who can get them to think and act alike." Personally I never saw myself as a dictator, even though people called me that, but now when I come back I will be a politician on normal terms. I am also a born optimist, which helps. We have everything going in Pakistan - the failure is only of leadership, not the people," said Musharraf. (ANI)

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