No return to Pak, riding on army and ISI: Musharraf

Islamabad: Pakistan`s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has said that he would return home with the people`s support and not by "riding on the shoulders of the army and the ISI".

Addressing former soldiers through a video link, Musharraf, now on self-exile, demanded that independent, free and fair elections be held under the supervision of the army.

Musharraf, 68, who is now the head of the All Pakistan Muslim League, last week deferred his plans to return to the country between January 27-30 after the government said he would be arrested on his arrival.

The former general told the retired officers that he would not come back to Pakistan "riding on the shoulders of the army and the ISI" but with the people`s support.

"All cases against me are based on political and personal animosity, though I have rendered unblemished services for the well-being of the country and the armed forces," he said, adding that justice should be done to him.

The retired officers on Saturday formed the Pakistan First Group (PFG), a "non-political pressure group", and resolved to curb the "unchecked bashing" of the army and ISI.

The PFG demanded that government should allow Musharraf to return from self-exile "like all citizens of Pakistan". "Musharraf should be allowed to return to his country…participate in the elections and he should be provided the necessary security with protocol of the kind which is allowed to any other former President of the country," said a resolution passed by the PFG.

An arrest warrant is pending against Musharraf for his alleged failure to cooperate in the probe of assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007. Musharraf who left the country in 2009 is also an accused in the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti in a military operation in August 2006.