Despite Taliban threat, Musharraf returns to Pakistan after 4 yrs

Karachi: Pakistan's former President Pervez Musharraf returned home on Sunday after nearly four years of self-imposed exile despite the possibility of arrest and a threat from the Taliban to kill him.

Musharraf hopes to regain influence and run in a general election scheduled for 11 May.

The former army general seized power in a 1999 coup, resigned in 2008 when his allies lost a vote and a new government threatened him with impeachment. He left the country a year later.

Pervez Musharraf. Reuters

Pervez Musharraf. Reuters

Musharraf faces charges of failing to provide adequate security to former prime minister Benazir Bhutto before her assassination in 2007. He also faces charges in connection with the death of a Baluch separatist leader.

Musharraf had been granted bail in advance to avoid being arrested upon his return but he could be detained at a later date.

It remains unclear whether Musharraf will manage to regain influence in Pakistan, where strong contenders for the election include Nawaz Sharif, the man he ousted in a military coup, and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan.

On Saturday, Pakistan's Taliban said in a video that they would despatch suicide bombers and snipers to kill the former president and send him to "hell". Musharraf dismissed the threats.

Musharraf angered the Taliban and other groups by joining the U.S. war on terror following the September 11 attacks and by later launching a major crackdown on militants in Pakistan.

Musharraf has said he will spend the first few days upon his return in the port city of Karachi before going to Islamabad to deal with his legal problems.


Updated Date: Mar 24, 2013 14:37 PM

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