Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday dismissed former President Pervez Musharraf's plans to return to active politics, saying he would be "welcomed" by the Supreme Court Chief Justice if he came back to Pakistan as a slew of cases were pending against him.
Asked by a journalist to comment on Musharraf's plans to return to Pakistan, Gilani said sarcastically: "I don’t know when he is returning but I think he will be welcomed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
"There are many cases against him (Musharraf)," Gilani said during an interaction with the media in his hometown of Multan in Punjab province.
After Musharraf resigned in August 2008 to avoid being impeached by the Pakistan People's Party-led government, several legal and criminal cases were registered against him across the country.
Musharraf left Pakistan in April last year and has been living in self-exile in Britain and the US since then.
During an interview with BBC last week, Musharraf said he was forming a new political party with the intention of participating in Pakistan's next general election scheduled for 2013.
"Two hundred per cent, I will participate in the next election," Musharraf said, adding he hoped to become either President or Prime Minister.
Musharraf's aides have cobbled together a new party – the All Pakistan Muslim League – to facilitate his return to the country though he hasn't set a date for his homecoming.
Musharraf acknowledged that if he did go back to Pakistan, he would have to face some legal cases and that there would be the risk of his being killed.
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, a close aide and legal advisor of Musharraf, claimed today that there was no case against the former President pending in the Supreme Court or High Courts.
"Neither is there any criminal case against him. The Prime Minister’s comment that there are many cases against Musharraf shows up his lack of information," Hussain told the media.
Hussain said Musharraf will announce details of his return to politics on October 1 in London.
This will mark the first phase of the resumption of Musharraf’s political career and he will return to Pakistan in the second phase, Hussain said.
Musharraf's spokesman Mohammad Saif said the people of Pakistan had reposed confidence in the former President by pledging over Rs 200 million in a telethon for flood victims in which he participated.
Musharraf will participate in another telethon on CNN along with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and movie star Angelina Jolie, Saif said.