|Musharraf stepped down from office in August 2008 amid nation-wide protests [GALLO/GETTY]|
Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s former president, is returning to politics in his country.
Speaking on the sidelines of an investor conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Musharraf said he will announce the establishment of his own political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, in London on October 1 and outline his political platform.
He said he will return to Pakistan in time for the next elections scheduled for 2013 but would not say whether he would take part in them.
Musharraf stepped down from office in August 2008 amid nationwide protests and left the country soon after. He has since lived in self-imposed exile in London.
He played down any concerns about future legal action arising from his military rule.
“There are elements who are opposed to me, political elements. And they are the one who engineer these cases and launch cases in the subordinate judiciary. One has to face all that. I am prepared to face that for the sake of Pakistan. And I know since whatever I did had all the legal backing and legal cover, I am very confident that nothing can happen legally against me (when he returns home).”
He said he is confident of rebuilding his support base rooted in Pakistan’s youth. He noted that more than 75 per cent of his 295,000 followers on Facebook are between the ages of 18 and 34.
“Therefore I know that it is the youth that is yearning for change. It’s the youth that is demoralised today. And I know that they can be awakened and brought out to introduce a new political culture into Pakistan.”
Musharraf became president after seizing power in a 1999 military coup. During nine years of his rule, Pakistan became a key ally of the US in its “war on terror”.