Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who is a has announced that he will contest the upcoming general elections from Chitral, a constituency in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.
According to news media report President Musharraf, 69, made the announcement while addressing the elders of Chitral via a video-link from Dubai.
In a brilliant move, Mr. Zardari seduced the PMLQ to be part of the PPP alliance, thus depriving Musharraf his base of political support. Abandoned and alone, Musharraf then formed his own political pary–which has been beset with abandonment and departure of major politicians who had supported him when he was in power.
Pervez Musharraf who ruled Pakistan between 1999 and 2008 will be running on the platform of the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and had return to Pakistan as soon as the elections were announced. As an “independent” he would probably vote with the PTI and the MQM on most issues. He may even win a few seats in the National Assembly.
Musharraf thins that he has a lot of support in Chitral. APML Secretary General Barrister Saif said the former president had rendered great services to the people of Chitral, and development projects had been initiated during his tenure.
Media reports seemed to indicate that that Musharraf is keen to return to Pakistan from self-exile when an interim government headed by a “neutral” Prime Minister is formed ahead of the general election scheduled for early next year.
The former president has been living in London and Dubai since early 2009, dropped plans to return to Pakistan earlier. The PPP government warned Musharraf that he would be arrested on arrival as a court had issued a non-bailable warrant for him in connection with the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto. Musharraf is fighting those cases in court and said that if convicted he would go to jail.
Musharraf’s first attempts to gain the support of the Army and the ISI failed. General Kayani rebuffed him, and General Pasha flew to Dubai to inform him that he should not come. Even though General Musharraf had appointed General Kayani to the COAS post, relations between them remain tense. When asked what he though of Kayani, the prolific Mr. Musharraf said “no comments”. He did eulogize General Pasha on various occasions.
APML sources indicate that he has again started contacting friends in the powerful army and in political circles to assess the possibility of his homecoming under a caretaker set-up.
Analysts think that his impact on Pakistani politics would be minimal. His nemesis, the PMLN will leave no stone unturned to give Musharraf a hard time. The Sharifs are known to participate in vendetta politics.