Musharraf says he would return home even if arrested
Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has said he is determined to return to his country by March 2012, even if he is arrested.world Updated: Sep 10, 2011 22:07 IST
Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has said he is determined to return to his country by March 2012, even if he is arrested.
"Let them arrest me... I'll go back," Musharraf told BBC.
The former president is wanted by an anti-terrorism court over accusations that he failed to protect former prime minister Benazir Bhutto from being killed in December 2007.
"By any stretch of imagination, by any analysis of legal and constitutional issues, I am not involved (in the assassination). So, I know this case is a hoax and we'll be able to fight it," Musharraf said.
Bhutto (1953-2007) was the first and till date the only woman prime minister of Pakistan. She was twice the prime minister of Pakistan 1988-1990 and 1993-1996, but could not complete any term.
She was removed in 1996 as prime minister on charges of corruption, and went into self-imposed exile to Dubai in 1998.
Bhutto returned to Pakistan in October 2007, after an understanding with then president Musharraf by which she was granted amnesty and all corruption charges were withdrawn. She was assassinated in December 2007, after a Pakistan Peoples Party rally in Rawalpindi, just two weeks before the scheduled general election of 2008.
The anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has also ordered the seizure of Musharraf's properties and freezing of his bank accounts after his continued refusal to respond to the accusations.
Musharraf has termed the case "baseless" and politically motivated.
Musharraf grabbed power in a bloodless coup in October 1999 and led an administrative military government till August 2007. He ruled as chief executive 1999-2001 and as president 2001-08.
Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Musharraf says no other country sacrificed more in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban than Pakistan.
Musharraf now says he is ready to return to a leadership role in Pakistan within six months.
"If there is such politicisation that the courts absolutely go berserk and they arrest me or something, which I don't think is a possibility, well let them arrest me. I'll go to jail. Let's see what happens then. I'll go back," he said.