Dubai, May 14 : Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has announced he will return to his homeland no later than March 23 next year to participate in the 2013 general elections, despite facing possible arrest in the country.
“I am going to land in Lahore on the 23rd of March, 2012, if not earlier - but not later,” he told reporters here.
Musharraf, living in self-exile in Dubai and London since leaving Presidency in 2008, is considering an election bid. The 2013 election is for parliament, which selects the President in Pakistan.
The former President, who announced the formation of All Pakistan Muslim League in London last October, shrugged off arrest and assassination concerns and said “I'm a risk taker.”
Musharraf, on return, is likely to face Pakistani prosecutors who are accusing him of being a part of a conspiracy to assassinate ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December 2007.
He also ruled out any deal with the Pakistani government or any political parties to secure a safe return and said he would soon announce the hierarchy of the APML.
The retired general, who took over power in a 1999 coup, said he chose March 23 as his date of return because it is Pakistan's National Day—the day to commemorate the signing of Pakistan Resolution, calling for greater Muslim autonomy in British-ruled India, in 1940.
The former President maintained that no ISI member had the knowledge of Osama bin Laden's whereabouts. The al-Qaeda chief was killed by the US Navy SEALs on May 2 in the garrison town of Abbottabad, just two-hour drive from Islamabad, where he was hiding in a one-million dollar mansion. PTI