Musharraf vows to return despite Taliban threats
Dubai: Hours after Pakistani Taliban threatened to kill him, Pakistan's former military ruler and President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday appeared unfazed and said he will return home from self-exile to lead his party in the upcoming general election.
"I am going home as announced. I am not scared of anything ? be it the death threat from terrorists or the arrest on arrival," Musharraf said in here after addressing his party supporters at a reception.
Musharraf is scheduled to leave Dubai for Karachi tomorrow morning with his party supporters.
Responding to a question on the Taliban's threat to dispatch suicide bombers and snipers to kill him on his arrival in Karachi, Musharraf told Gulf News, "Being an ex-commando with 40 years' service in the army, I can't be intimidated with these cowardly threats".
In a video released to reporters in northwest Pakistan today, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said Musharraf will be the "main target" of the militants on his return.
Ihsan asked Musharraf to surrender to the Taliban. Adnan Rashid, a militant who was involved in an earlier attempt to assassinate 69-year-old Musharraf, said the Taliban had formed a special squad of suicide bombers to target the former President.
Rashid, who escaped from prison last year, is shown in the video training a group of Taliban fighters assigned to target Musharraf.
He threatened Musharraf and called on him to surrender to the Taliban. "Otherwise we will target you at such a place you will not know," he said.
In the six-minute video, both Ihsan and Rashid referred to the 2007 military raid on the radical Lal Masjid in Islamabad and said, "We will not leave you alive."
Earlier this week, Saudi officials had warned him against returning to Pakistan, citing "danger".