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Musharraf to launch political party on October one

September 15
03:08 2010

Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf

HONG KONG: Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has said he would launch a new party on October 1, as the retired general plots a return to the frontlines of the country’s turbulent politics.

Musharraf also accused Afghan President Hamid Karzai of lacking “legitimacy” but urged the West to stay the course against the Taliban and not to abandon the restive region.

“I’m going to declare a party on October 1… We have to bring about a new political culture in Pakistan,” he told reporters in Hong Kong after addressing an annual investors’ forum organized by the CLSA brokerage.

The 67-year-old Musharraf, who lives in self-imposed exile in London, shrugged off the threat of possible legal action arising from his years of military rule of Pakistan.

“There are elements opposed to me, political elements, and they are the ones who engineer these cases. One has to face that. I’m very confident nothing can happen (on his eventual return home),” he said.

Musharraf, who plans to stand for parliament at the next general election in 2013, did not say where he would launch his new party — called the All Pakistan Muslim League.

But reports in Pakistan have said the October 1 event will take place in London.

In a BBC interview last week, Musharraf vowed to restore the battered country’s self-confidence and said he thought he could become president again.

As army chief, Musharraf ousted civilian Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup in 1999. He was president from 2001 and has lived abroad since resigning in 2008.

Pakistan is back under civilian rule but President Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is under siege from rampant militants, a weak economy and catastrophic floods.




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