Musharraf launches new party

Ex-Pakistani president announces that his new All Pakistan Muslim League will contest the planned 2013 general election.

    Musharraf speaks to Al Jazeera's Sir David Frost about his return to Pakistani national politics

    Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's former president and military chief, has announced the launch of a new political party, a move that could spark more controversy in one of the most politically unstable countries in the world. 

    He said his All Pakistan Muslim League will take part in the Pakistani general elections planned for 2013.

    Formally announcing the new party in London on Friday, Musharraf said he feared Pakistan could break up without a change in leadership.

    He also apologised for what he called "mistakes" made during his time in office.

    The move comes as Pakistan's current government is being criticised for its response to floods that devastated the country.

    Musharraf, who had seized power in 1999 through a bloodless military coup, told Al Jazeera's Sir David Frost that it is time for a new political culture that will represent the people and "shun dynastic politics" in a clear jab at former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's family.

    Stronger army

    Since he stepped down in 2008 under an impeachment threat and protests, Musharraf has been living in the UK.

    Speaking to scores of supporters in London, Musharraf said the only way to tackle Pakistan's problems is to strengthen the military.

    He also said it was important to boost agriculture in the country and bring in more foreign investment.

    A return to Pakistan for Musharraf, however, would likely be met by controversy, with some opponents wanting him tried for what they consider to be a treason, in his alleged violation of the constitution while in power.

    The former general could also be arrested and deported on arrival, as was done to political opponent Nawaz Sharif in 2007.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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