Musharraf returns from exile for polls, vows to save Pakistan
Karachi: Former military dictator Pervez Musharraf today ended nearly four years in self-exile defying threats of arrest and assassination by Taliban, saying that he returned home to "save" Pakistan and would face all "challenges" that lay ahead.
69-year-old Musharraf along with a delegation of around 150 people, including supporters from his All Pakistan Muslim League and journalists, landed at Jinnah International airport here by a chartered Emirates flight from Dubai.
Talking to reporters accompanying him from Dubai to Karachi, a smiling Musharraf said: "It is (a) very emotional (moment). I'm going back after four years."
"There are a lot of challenges. There are security challenges, legal challenges, political challenges. But I will face them," Musharraf clad in an off white shalwar-kameez said as he made his way out of the aircraft.
"Where are the people who said I will never return home.
I have been receiving death threats and some people have been trying to scare me but I have returned home for the sake of my country and people," an emotional Musharraf told his supporters.
The former commando-turned-politician said he would soon be launching a countrywide campaign of public rallies and media interaction.
"I have taken a big risk returning home now. But tears come to my eyes seeing the state of the country now. I ask where is the Pakistan I had left five years ago," he said.
"People have tried to sabotage my first public rally in Karachi and already hurdles are being created for me but I am ready to face all challenges whether they are security, political or legal issues," Musharraf said.
The former President claimed that he had been implicated in a lot of cases while in exile but he was ready to face them because he wanted to see Pakistan prosper again.
"My party slogan today is save Pakistan. I am thankful and happy to see so many people come to welcome me," he said.
Delhi-born Musharraf was the mastermind and strategic field commander behind the highly controversial and internationally condemned Kargil infiltration, which derailed peace negotiations with India.