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Former Pakistani President vows to return to country this month

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Jan 8, IRNA -- Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf Sunday announced to end his nearly three-year self-exile and to return to the country between January 27 and January 30.

Musharraf made the announcement while speaking to his thousands of supporters in the port city of Karachi via video link from Dubai.

The former President announced that he will land at Karachi airport.

Musharraf ruled Pakistan from 1999–2008. In the face of impeachment, he resigned on August 18, 2008.

'I want to tell you that I am coming to Pakistan. Some people are trying to terrify me. But I want to tell them that I have fought many wars and I do not care of any threat to my life,' the former military ruler said.

Since 2008, Musharraf has lived in exile in Britain and the UAE. He launched the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party in exile.

'I will put my life in danger. I will take risk but will return to Pakistan at all cost,' the defiant Musharraf said.

The former President also announced that he is going compete in the upcoming parliamentary elections from the northern Chitral district. The elections are scheduled for 2013, but President Asif Ali Zardari has hinted snap polls.

Several political leaders, however, say elections might be held in October this year.

'I will contest election for the National Assembly seat from Chital and I will win the seat,' Musharraf said.

A government prosecutor said on Saturday that Pervez Musharraf will be arrested upon his arrival in connection with the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

'Musharraf is a proclaimed offender and there's no need for a warrant for this arrest,' Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, prosecutor at the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) told reporters.

Musharraf is also facing charges of the killing of a tribal elder Nawab Akbar Bugti, who was killed during a military operation in 2006 when Musharraf had been ruling the country.

Musharraf rejected all the charges brought against him by terming them as 'politically motivated' and said he will defend himself in the court against murder charges.

He condemned terrorism and extremism in Pakistan and said 'some elements are carrying out terrorism in the name of Islam to defame the divine religion.' Musharraf said the whole Pakistani nation is highly concerned at the growing terrorism and extremism in Pakistan.

The former President expressed concern over the country's security, political and economic situation and said that the economy is on the brink of collapse. He said he had rid Pakistan of IMF, but now the government has again approached IMF for loans.

Musharraf said Pakistan's loans are about USD 60 billion.

He noted that the state institutions are involved in the ongoing confrontation inside Pakistan.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30755395

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