Musharraf musters support to launch own partyJanuary 22, 2010
Dubai : Former President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf is busy mustering support to launch his own political party.
He aims to resume his mission of getting rid of the “sham” democracy in the country, but this time as a civilian, Gulf News has learnt.
Musharraf spent a busy week in Abu Dhabi — before flying back to London on Wednesday morning — holding marathon meetings with his lawyers, old political partners and retired officials, including his close aide Major General Rashid Quraishi.
He further discussed issues related to forming a new political force and his possible return to Pakistan.
“Musharraf is weighing possibilities of going back to launch himself as a political force,” a leading politician requesting anonymity, said after meeting with him in Abu Dhabi.
He said the purpose of the meetings were to discuss various aspects of the new political party and its launch time in Pakistan. “I hope that Musharraf should be going back within a few months after re-gaining his strength in the political circles,” he added.
The former Pakistan president resigned in August 2008 under immense pressure and due to a decline in popularity caused by his decision to impose emergency in the country and sack judges in November 2007 — as a bid to save his presidency
Who’s in it
Sources told Gulf News that Musharraf’s party would mainly comprise of politicians who parted ways from the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) — a party which he launched with the help of Chaudhry Shujjat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi who defected early from Nawaz Sharif’s PML (N).
These included Humayon Akhtar, Khusheed Mahmoud Kasuri, Senator Salim Saif Allah and Arbab Gulam Rahim who were all on important positions during Musharraf’s government.
Those who came to meet Musharraf in Abu Dhabi also included leading politicians such as Dr Sher Afgahn, Ejaz Durrani, Gulam Sarwar Khan, Amir Muqam and former attorney general of Pakistan Malek Qayyum.
A close aide of Musharraf, who also met a group of Pakistani students of a leading university in Dubai, in addition to attending a dinner reception hosted by a leading Pakistani businessmen currently residing in Dubai, said that the former president has also gained immunity against all the cases in the court.
He is ready to face the court cases including the murder case of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, who was killed during a military operation during his regime.
A top diplomat said that Musharraf’s resignation and his consequent ‘self-exile’ in London are all part of the bigger deal in which international guarantors were also involved. “He has been given immunity as part of the deal and will not be arrested on his return but he is waiting for the right signal to go back,” he said.
Musharraf will be able to contest elections after August this year when he would complete two years — a mandatory ban period for any government official before contesting any polls.
He is also trying to negotiate with different dissident groups in a bid to bring them together on one party platform before returning to Pakistan.
Source: Gulf News