Ex-Army officers ready to join my party: Mush

Last Updated: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 13:51

Lahore: Former Pakistan President Pervez
Musharraf has said "a good number of ex-servicemen" are ready
to join his party on his planned homecoming next month from
self-exile abroad, amid reports that some 100 retired senior
Army officers have shown willingness to do so.

Musharraf, who has been living in self-exile since early
2009, said he will announce a date for his return when he
addresses a public meeting in Karachi through
video-conferencing on January 8.

"As I said earlier, I am determined to return to Pakistan
in January and I am going to announce the date on January 8,"
he told a news agency by phone from Dubai.

Musharraf said "a good number of ex-servicemen have shown
their willingness" to join his All Pakistan Muslim League
(APML) party.

His comments came as local media reported that about 100
retired Army officers were getting ready to join Musharraf`s
party.

Asked about criticism of his actions by an
ex-servicemen`s society, Musharraf said: "They were few in
numbers and they have regretted that. Now they want to come
along with me."

Sources said Musharraf, during his January 8 address, is
expected to announce that he will return in the last week of
January.

The former President, who was forced to resign in 2008 to
avoid impeachment, made it clear that he was ready to face all
legal charges or even arrest on his homecoming.

"My legal team is working on the cases I am facing in
Pakistan and let`s see what the courts decide. I am taking the
cases seriously and the impression that I do not bother about
them is not correct," he said.

"However, the cases against me are baseless as cases are
made in Pakistan without any solid reason," he said.

The former Army chief said he had noted Pakistan
Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan`s remarks that he was not
interested in forming an alliance with the APML.

"I say thank you very much to Mr Khan if he thinks so. I
want to break the political status quo and Imran Khan is also
struggling for this," Musharraf said.

"In Pakistan, the name of the political status quo is the
Pakistan People`s Party and PML-N. We all need to be united to
break this. And let me make it clear that if no one will come
forward to do this, I will do it myself with the support of
the people of Pakistan," Musharraf asserted.

Musharraf has asked the PPP-led government to provide him
security on his return.

"Security always remains an issue. I am making
arrangements for my security back home but the government
should also ensure it," he said.

Sources said Musharraf had asked his legal team
comprising lawyers Muhammad Ali Saif and Fawad Chaudhry to
vigorously pursue the case against him in an anti-terrorism
court, which issued an arrest warrant for him for failing to
cooperate with investigators probing the 2007 assassination of
former Premier Benazir Bhutto.

The team would also challenge the FIR filed in connection
with the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti
during an operation in 2006.

The FIR states that the paramilitary Frontier
Constabulary carried out the operation at the request of the
provincial government.

PTI




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