Pervez Musharraf uses Hay festival to hint at possible return to powerJune 2, 2010
‘Many people are asking that I should come back,’ says former president of Pakistan – citing 200,000-strong Facebook ‘fan club’
Richard Norton-Taylor (The Guardian)
Pakistan’s former president, Pervez Musharraf, tonight used the Hay festival to help launch a possible return to power. He said he could still lead his country out of its deep economic, political and security problems.
“Many people are asking that I should come back,” he said. He has a Facebook page and in five months his “fan club has reached 200,000”.He said most of his supporters there were between 18 and 34. “The youth of today [in Pakistan] is dismayed.”
Musharraf added: “The people of Pakistan must stand up and be counted”.
Musharraf recently announced his intention to return to Pakistan, where his supporters have launched a party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, but the next elections are not until 2013. He has been living in London since resigning in 2008.
Interviewed tonight by Carey Schofield, the academic author, he suggested he had not made a final decision to return, prefacing his remarks by saying “if” he did so.
Musharraf insisted that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were safe from terrorists, though he admitted that what he called the “centre of gravity” of al-Qaida-inspired extremism lay in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
Referring to Pakistan’s relations with India, he recalled being told in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, of a proverb which said that when two elephants fight the grass gets trampled. “I shudder to think if two elephants start making love the grass gets more trampled,” he said.
Source: The Guardian