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Unfazed by Pak Taliban threat, Musharraf ends his self-exile


Suhasini Haidar,CNN-IBN
Mar 24, 2013 at 05:14pm IST

New Delhi: Despite assassination threats from the Pakistani Taliban, former president Pervez Musharraf is set to return to Pakistan later on Sunday after four years of self-exile in London and Dubai.

Musharraf will reach Karachi to lead the All Party Muslim League in the upcoming general elections in May 2013. Musharraf is accused of failing to provide adequate security to former prime minister Benazir Bhutto ahead of her assassination in 2007.

Musharraf is also wanted in the murder of Baloch leader Nawab Akber Bugti and for sacking the entire higher judiciary in November 2007.

CNN-IBN's Senior Editor Suhasini Haidar spoke to the former Pakistan president on the challenges he faces upon returning to the country.

Below is the excerpt of the interview:

CNN-IBN: The federal investigative agency has said you will be arrested on arrival. The court in Lahore has already been informed that a case of high treason is being made out against you. Aren't you worried?

Pervez Musharraf: There are cases. We will fight all cases in the courts - that is my stand and I know that these are politicised cases, they don't have any substance. Moreover, the arrest warrants and my being declared an absconder was not because I am accused anywhere or anything has been proven against me. It is because I have not appeared in the court. Now I intend appearing in the court when I go back so the case is over. Why should I be arrested if I appear in the court?

CNN-IBN: Pakistan's government has completed now it's first democratic tenure, it is certainly a big moment for the country and I do have to ask you, do you think democracy is now entrenched and that another coup of the kind you carried out, perhaps, could not again happen?

Pervez Musharraf: Artificially, yes, a democratically elected government has completed five years but they have played merry hell into the state of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan. If this is what the country requires from democracy, well I am not the one who contributes to these ideas.

CNN-IBN: You are saying the Army could still intervene..

Pervez Musharraf: No, I don't think so. I don't think that is the environment. Army should not and will not, I think interfere and do anything of that sort. However, I think the Army has a role to play behind the scene to make sure that an interim government comes in which is capable, which is neutral, which is fair and impartial and making sure that the elections that the held after two or three months are absolutely peaceful, fair.

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