I can give my life for Pakistan: Pervez Musharraf
Refutes newspaper report that claimed his return was result of understanding brokered with Nawaz Sharif’s party and facilitated by Saudi government. Musharraf: Pakistani ex-dictator back in line of fireworld Updated: Mar 25, 2013 03:28 IST
Amid death and arrest threats, former president of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf returned to the country on Sunday.
“I am here to save Pakistan,” Mushrraf told the media at the Karachi airport where over thousand supporters had gathered to cheer their leader.
However, due to security reasons, the former military ruler was whisked away soon after his arrival.
Talking to journalists at the airport, he said that he faced a number of challenges on his return: “I face political challenges, security challenges and legal challenges,” he said.
Musharraf has already been granted pre-arrest bail in several cases.
Earlier, it was reported in an English newspaper that the retired general had arrived after an understanding was brokered with Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N party, which was facilitated by the Saudi government. However, when asked, Musharraf refused to comment on this and said that as a Pakistani citizen he had a right to return to his homeland as and when he wished. But he did add that the Saudis were insisting that he not return under the present circumstances.
Addressing his supporters at the airport, Musharraf said that this was not the Pakistan he had left when he went into exile. “We were a strong nation then. Look what we have been reduced to by the present rulers,” he said. He also lamented the fact that his party was denied permission to hold a rally in the city center for security reasons.
Musharraf will stay in Karachi and has based his headquarters at a local hotel here. He told his supporters that he would discuss administrative matters and settle party issues before proceeding to Rawalpindi and Lahore. “I am confident that my supporters will now come out and support me. I am sure that my presence in Pakistan will be a source of strength to them.”
Musharraf said that he had been advised by many not to return to Pakistan, especially after the threat issued by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). But he said that he had stayed away too long. “I can give my life for Pakistan. In the past too I have put everything at take for Pakistan,” he told journalists.
First Published: Mar 23, 2013 14:06 IST