LONDON: Pakistan’s former President and military leader, Pervez Musharraf, says he is leaving London and returning to Pakistan to start a new political party. Musharraf resigned from the presidency under impeachment pressure in 2008, and since has been earning a comfortable living on the international lecture circuit discussing his front-row seat in the war against terror, The Daily Telegraph reported.
He said he is returning to Pakistan to start the All Pakistan Muslim League, which is scheduled to present its opening manifesto in London Friday. “I am very comfortable traveling around the world on lectures, but I am going into politics for the greater cause of Pakistan,” Musharraf told The Sunday Telegraph in an interview.
“The people have reached the end of their hopes, and I want to try to rekindle their faith in both themselves and Pakistan itself. It would be better to try and fail rather than not to try at all.” Musharraf told the newspaper that terrorists, including al-Qaida, would come back stronger than ever if the U.S., British and other NATO soldiers are removed from Afghanistan.
If troops are removed, the region would become a “nexus for terrorists” all over the Muslim world, Musharraf said in the report. “I am not trying to portray a doomsday scenario unnecessarily, but the implications would be very serious for Afghanistan, Pakistan and the rest of world,” Musharraf said. “It would encourage and strengthen the Taliban and al-Qaida, giving them a country to fall back on.”
He said troop reductions should be effect-related, and not tied to a timetable, and he hoped the All Pakistan Muslim League will “change the political culture” of Pakistan. Musharraf also criticized the handling of Pakistan’s summer of flooding that left 12 million people in need of food assistance, but did not directly criticize the country’s President, Ali Asif Zardari. NNI