Want to return, contest elections: Musharraf


Former President of Pakistan  Pervez Musharraf.

Former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf.

A day after resigning as the chairman of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf June 23, 2018 said he wanted to return and contest elections, but he could not do so as he had sought some assurances from the government which it failed to fulfil them.

Musharraf, 74, on June 22, 2018 sent his resignation as chairman of the APML party to the Election Commission of Pakistan, days after the Supreme Court withdrew an interim relief given to him to submit his nomination papers for contesting in the July 25 general elections, after he failed to appear before it.

The apex court had also assured him that he would not be arrested till he appears before it for a case, but he failed to end his self-imposed exile.

In a video message, the Dubai-based former dictator said that many right and wrong statements were being spread regarding his resignation.

Asserting that he has full intention to return to the country, contest elections and  appear before the courts in all cases, the former dictator said he had sought assurances on overturning of his lifetime disqualification, removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL) and that he should not be arrested.

But as they were not fulfilled, so he decided not to return to Pakistan.

“I wanted my lifetime disqualification to be overturned as it happened with Khawaja Asif. If it can happen with him, why not me?” he was quoted as saying by the Dunya News.

“Then I asked my name to be removed from the ECL. If Nawaz Sharif has the freedom to move in and outside the country, why can I not have it?” he said.

“Thirdly, I do not want to get arrested. But the judgment was that I will not be held till my appearance in court. What will happen afterwards?” the former president asked.

Since those assurances were not given, Musharraf said he knew that he could not do anything for his party or for himself, therefore, after consultation with other APML leaders he decided not to return to the country.

Musharraf, who is facing a treason case among others, has not returned to Pakistan since he left for Dubai in 2016 for medical treatment.

The former army chief also said that the decision was taken because of legal issues and that he would continue to support the party he founded.

He also requested his party to support its new chairman, Dr Amjad Shoaib and Mehreen Malik Adam, who has been elevated to the position of secretary general, the Dawn reported.