Musharraf to return to Pak despite arrest threats

London: Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf is determined to return from self-exile to his country to contest elections despite facing threats of arrest, a media report said today. The former President, living in Dubai and London since April 2009, has plans to return to Pakistan to lead his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party.

The Daily Telegraph quoted a source close to the former Pakistani strongman as saying the details of his return will be announced on Sunday. "His return will be announced by video link at a rally in Karachi on Sunday," the source said. Musharraf is expected to fly back to Pakistan by the end of January, plunging himself into a political crisis amid reports of an early general election.

Musharraf earlier said he plans to return on January 25 or 27 to lead his party. A Pakistani media report has said that the ruling PPP leadership had decided to hold the general election on October 16 this year, instead of 2013, under an interim government.

Meanwhile, Pakistan`s Federal Investigation Agency prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali told reporters in Islamabad today that Musharraf will be arrested on returning to Pakistan as an anti-terrorism court has declared him a "proclaimed offender" or a fugitive.

He said Musharraf is a "proclaimed offender" and there is no need of any warrant for making the arrest. Musharraf was declared a fugitive last year by the Rawalpindi-based court conducting the trial of those charged with involvement in the December 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

According to the report in the British newspaper Telegraph, the government is at loggerheads with the army over a memo allegedly sent to the US military chief asking for support to stave off a feared coup in the country. Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani earlier said publicly that Pakistan`s generals were behaving as though they were a "state within a state".

Pakistan Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani rejected coup claims, insisting that the army would "continue to support the democratic process". The report said it is unclear whether the army command would back Musharraf, who was ruler for nine years until he resigned, under threat of impeachment, in 2008.