Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s former president, has arrived in Karachi, returning to the country after more than four years in self-imposed exile to run in upcoming elections.
Musharraf landed at Karachi’s Jinnah International airport as scheduled on Sunday, aboard a commercial flight from Dubai.
The airport was heavily secured after a death threat against Musharraf by the Pakistani Taliban on Saturday.
Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, reporting from Karachi, said Musharraf, who was the former chief of staff and a special forces commando, was not the kind of man to scare easily.
“They have been trying to send me to the hells since 9/11, which means it’s 12 years now,” said Musharraf before boarding his flight in Dubai. “These statements could be planted even from anywhere, they may be true or untrue, so I’m not the kind to get scared of mere statements,” he added.
Khan said that only about 300 people were at the airport to receive him, adding that Musharraf does not have the kind of support he used to.
“But Pakistan’s political scene is one of deal-making, one of road-blocks,” said Khan.
“So if he strikes the right deals and makes alliances with the right people, it could prove that he becomes sort of a power player within the next political structure.”
Musharraf, then the army chief, seized power in a military coup in 1999, and rebranded himself as president after general elections in 2002 – though he remained in uniform.
He left Pakistan in 2008 after being forced out of office by widespread popular pressure and a looming impeachment hearing, moving first to London and then Dubai. He has spent the better part of the past two years vowing to return to Pakistan and to re-enter politics.