Exiled former president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, has announced he will return to the country at the end of January to take the helm of his party's parliamentary election campaigning, as, he said, he is the only one capable of doing so.
There are efforts to scare me, but these people don't know that I'm not among the afraid, Musharraf told a rally of about 8,000 supporters in the commercial center of Karachi via video link from Dubai.
The former general's arrival date in Pakistan is expected to be between Jan. 27 and 30, he said, dismissing concerns about his security.
I have fought wars. I am not scared of danger, Musharraf, who assumed the role of president in a bloodless coup in 1999, said. He was in power for nearly a decade before the allies of his All Pakistan Muslim League party lost a parliamentary election in 2008 and the new coalition government threatened impeachment; he resigned in August 2008 and has been abroad in London and Dubai ever since.
His popularity plummeted after he became embroiled in a row with the judiciary and briefly imposed a state of emergency, Reuters reported. Musharraf faces possible arrest on charges of failing to provide adequate security to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto before her assassination in 2007.
According to sources, Musharraf plans to travel to Saudi Arabia to seek support for his political comeback.
Musharraf will be traveling to Saudi Arabia soon in order to get support before he goes back to Pakistna, said a Gulf-based Saudi source familiar with the matter, though he declined to say what form of support he was seeking.
Saudi Arabuia, which has hold significant influence in Pakistan because of its economic support, has expressed concern over the friction between the army and the government in recent months.
I ran Pakistan successfully for 10 years, and took the country toward prosperity, Musharraf said. I know how to take Pakistan out of the current crises. I can, and I will, make Pakistan progress, strengthen its armed forces, and fix the economy.
Elections are not due in Pakistan until 2013. There is speculation that Bhutto's widower, President Asif Ali Zardari, will call a poll this year.