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200 Per Cent I Will Take Part In Next Election, Says Musharraf

London/Islamabad  :  Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has vowed to return to politics declaring that he stood a "good chance" of a comeback as the nation had sunk in self-confidence, a claim which was
PTI September 11, 2010 18:35 IST
PTI

London/Islamabad  :  Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has vowed to return to politics declaring that he stood a "good chance" of a comeback as the nation had sunk in self-confidence, a claim which was rebuked by parties in Islamabad.

Musharraf said that he intended to form a new party and lead it in Pakistan's next general elections in 2013 to steer the country in what he called a "correct" democratic path.

 "Two hundred per cent, I will participate in the next election," Musharraf, who has been living outside Pakistan since April last year, told BBC.

 The former dictator said that time had come top introduce a new political culture in Pakistan to bring in a correct democratic path, dubbing the present governing system as "artificial make-believe democratic path".

He said he would launch the new party in the " near future" but would not immediately return home.

 Asked if he was confident of becoming the next President of Pakistan, the former military ruler said "no I cannot be assured, but I believe there is a good chance of my winning on the political scene".

 "We have to show light, we have to give the people viable alternative to regain confidence, because there is total breakdown of self-confidence of the people of Pakistan. They have lost hope in Pakistan. Its a pathetic situation," Musharraf, who was President from 2001 to 2008, said.

 He claimed that he had done wonders in his seven years of rule, saying this should be compared with the fifty years of the past.

The former military ruler said he was not scared of possible legal cases he would face on his return. "I will go to face the music. We will answer all allegations".

 But said security issue played a part on his return home. "One is not scared for one's sake. But one should not be fool hardy," as he acknowledged there was a risk to his life.

Musharraf's comments sparked off ridicule from Pakistan's mainstream parties who said there was "no room" for him in the country.

"The former president is a coward and will not return back. Pakistan is engulfed in a crisis because of the culture introduced by Musharraf," a senior Jamaat-i-Islami told BBC.

Commenting on Musharraf's remarks, a spokesman of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) said "the former commando ran away instead of facing courts of law in Pakistan. He is living in a fool's paradise if he thinks that he  will become President again if he returns."

 Elaborating on his planned political comeback in the interview, Musharraf said he would stand for a seat in the next Parliament and that he hopes to become either Prime Minister or President.

 In the past few months, Musharraf's aides have put together a new party called the All Pakistan Muslim League which, they said, would be led by the former President on his return to the country.

The party has been active in raising funds for victims of the devastating floods in Pakistan and Musharraf personally donated Rs one crore for relief efforts.

Musharraf resigned as President in August 2008 to avoid impeachment by the Pakistan People's Party-led government. He moved abroad after a slew of cases were filed against him.

"Although I was very legitimate, I lacked the legitimacy because I was in uniform," he said.

"I did very well for Pakistan. I know that and I can challenge anybody on any point as far as Pakistan as a state and the people of Pakistan are concerned. We did wonders for them in those seven years which should be compared with the 50 years of the past," he said.

Musharraf in his radio interview spoke of corruption in Pakistan and feared that the money being donated for the flood-relief might be embezzled.

"There is corruption in Pakistan, there is no doubt about it, it is heartbreaking how people are not bothered about the country. They have lot of money and yet they are corrupt," he said. PTI