Musharraf Signals Political Return to Pakistan

Musharraf Signals Political Return to Pakistan
# 21 May 2010 19:43 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Pakistan’s former president, Pervez Musharraf, plans to return to the country to take part in the next national elections in a bid to regain power, ending his self-imposed exile, APA reports quoting “The Wall Street Journal”.
The 67-year-old former military ruler, who was forced to step down under the threat of impeachment in 2008, made his intentions known in an interview late Thursday on CNN.
"I certainly am planning to go back to Pakistan and also join politics. The question of whether I am running for president or prime minister will be seen later," Mr. Musharraf told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. He didn’t, however, give any specific time frame for his planned return to the country
Political analysts said it was highly unlikely that the former army general could return to the country given the threat to his life from the Islamic militants. The opposition has also been demanding that he be tried for subverting the constitution.
"His return to the country at least in the near future is highly unlikely, with hardly any support for him in the country," said Mohammed Wasim, a professor of political science at Lahore University of Management Sciences. "He will also have to face a hostile judiciary."
As army chief, Mr. Musharraf seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999, removing the government and then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
A staunch ally of the U.S. in its war on terror, Mr. Musharraf lost his hold on power after his party, the Pakistan Muslim League, was routed in the 2008 national elections. Mr. Musharraf was followed by Asif Ali Zardari as president.
Mr. Musharraf left Pakistan a year ago and has been living in London since then under high security provided by the British government and Pakistani army. He is currently on a lecture trip to the U.S. His spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment.
In his interview, Mr. Musharraf indicated that he might run for prime minister. But for that he has to have the support of a party that could win a majority in Parliament.
His supporters in Pakistan have recently formed a new political party under the banner of the All Pakistan Muslim League, which has little following. Analysts said it is highly unlikely that the military, which Mr. Musharraf headed for 10 years, would like him to return. "His return will create lots of complications," said Humayun Akhtar, a former federal minister in Mr. Musharraf’s government.