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Central & South Asia
Musharraf plans to rejoin politics
Pakistan former president says he wants to return to his country and enter politics.
Last Modified: 21 May 2010 15:12 GMT
Musharraf has been implicated in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto [AFP]

Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani president, has said he intends going back home to enter politics.

Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999 and ruled until stepping down as president in 2008, has raised the possibility of re-entering politics several times over the past year although political analysts have played down the likelihood.

"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," Musharraf told CNN in an interview.

"There are security issues. Maybe my wife and my family is more worried than I am but there are security issues which one needs to take into consideration and that is why I'm not laying down any dates for my return," he said.

Musharraf could also face a host of legal dangers.

The Supreme Court, headed by the chief justice Musharraf tried to dismiss, has declared his 2007 imposition of emergency rule unconstitutional, which could be a basis for actions against him.

Polls show that Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister Musharraf ousted in 1999, is Pakistan's most popular politician and he too has called for Musharraf to be put on trial.

Musharraf left Pakistan about a year ago and spends most of his time in Britain and the United States.

Unpopular leader

Many Pakistanis welcomed the 1999 coup by the straight-talking army chief, which ended a decade of fractious rule by rival parties tainted by corruption accusations.

But the longer he ruled the more unpopular he became.

He tried to strike a power-sharing deal with Benazir Bhutto, a former prime minister, who returned from self-exile in October 2007 to campaign for a general election. But she was assassinated weeks later.

Musharraf's government said Pakistani Taliban were responsible but in a country where conspiracy theories run rife, many people believed shadowy forces, perhaps close to Musharraf, played a part in her death.

The party that backed Musharraf was humiliated in a February 2008 election, in which Bhutto's party won the most seats, and Musharraf stepped down later that year.

He survived two bomb attacks and officials spoke of other plots to assassinate him.

Source:
Agencies
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