London: Claiming that Pakistan was being run to the ground, the country’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has not ruled out a fresh military takeover of the nation.
“The state is being run to the ground at the moment, and people are again running to the military to save the country,” Musharraf told a gathering in Aspen in Colorado in the US.
While he maintained that Pakistan’s constitution was “sacrosanct”, the former dictator also questioned: “Should we save the country, and do something unconstitutional or uphold the constitution of the country, and let the state go down?”
The comments from the former General, who still retains close ties to the military back home, came as Pakistan is in throes of a political crisis with friction between the executive, judiciary and the military.
Vowing to return home on his “own accord”, Musharraf shrugged off calls in his country for Interpol to arrest him saying he was prepared to risk arrest by returning for elections, which he claimed would be held this year.
The former military ruler’s appearance in the US came just days after Pakistan’s federal intelligence agency sent a second reminder to the Interpol to arrest him, labelling him a “proclaimed offender” in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in 2007, reports ‘The Guardian‘.
The General repeated his previous assertions that he would return voluntarily, “even at risk to my life”.
“I know I see Pakistan and I know it has all the potential to do well for itself, now at this moment it’s being run to the ground,” said Musharraf who currently lives in the UK and Dubai.
The former president did not give specific dates for his return to Pakistan. He has previously said he would return in January this year and then in March, but on both the occasions he failed to return home.
Musharraf, a four-star general who became chief executive of Pakistan in a military coup in 1999 before ascending to the presidency in 2001, resigned in 2008 when he was facing threat of impeachment from opposition parties.
He went into self-imposed exile after his resignation.
The Guardian said, in a wide ranging interview to a US media company later, Musharraf claimed that Iran was “determined” to develop a nuclear arsenal.
During the interaction, The Guardian said Musharraf reminisced about travelling to Iran in 2004 in an attempt to dissuade President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei from pursuing nuclear weapons.
Musharraf discussed talking to Ahmadinejad and Khamenei in 2004. “You should not adopt a confrontational course, you should adopt a conciliatory course, for the sake of the world and the region,” Musharraf recalled telling Ahmadenijad, however he said the Iranian President did not listen to his suggestion.
“They are determined to develop a nuclear arsenal, although I do not think they have a reason to develop,” Musharraf said.