All eyes on Musharraf

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All eyes on Musharraf

Pakistan’s political parties on Saturday rushed to oil their electoral machinery with former president Pervez Musharraf pledging to return home today despite a Taleban threat to assassinate him.

By (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Sat 23 Mar 2013, 11:47 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:28 AM

Meanwhile cricket legend Imran Khan rallied around 100,000 supporters in Lahore for an event to launch his manifesto that would promise to clean up corruption.

Armed with a bail to avoid being arrested upon his well-orchestrated return home following nearly four years of self-imposed exile, Musharraf is set to catch a flight this morning from Dubai for Karachi along with a horde of journalists and party workers.

The former army general, who faces charges of failing to provide adequate security to former prime minister Benazir Bhutto before her assassination in 2007 and in connection with the death of a Baloch leader, is scheduled to spend a few days in Karachi before heading to the capital city of Islamabad.

The Pakistani Taleban on Saturday threatened to assassinate Musharraf, who has previously escaped three assassination attempts, for his alliance in the US-led “war on terror”.

“We have prepared a special squad of suicide bombers for Musharraf,” Taleban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said in a video. “They will attack Musharraf after he arrives in Pakistan.”

Adnan Rasheed, who had taken part in a previous attempt to assassinate Musharraf, warned in the video: “When the jackal’s death is near he heads to the town.”

“The Pakistani Taleban is fully prepared to deal with this pharaoh. If God is willing, we will give this devil what he deserves and give satisfaction to the victims of the Red Mosque,” added Ehsan.

However, Musharraf brushed aside these threats.

“They have been trying to ‘send me to hell’ after 9/11 which means that it’s 12 years now, which means they haven’t been able to do that,” he told Reuters. “I’m not the kind to get scared, I don’t care about them.”

He said that so far there had been no response from the government to his request for security and he was taking private security with him. “I’m not scared, I’m emotionally looking forward to going back to Pakistan.”

Meanwhile, Imran Khan, who has elbowed his way from cricket into the game of politics, was on Saturday night launching his party Tahreek-e-Insaaf’s manifesto.

Khan, whose support comes from young, middle class Pakistanis and his Pushtoon tribe, has grabbed initiative from the country’s two main parties and is widely expected to make a huge dent on their electoral prospects. Khan has warned of a “political tsunami” in the May 11 elections and his manifesto would promise to cleanse society of corruption and infuse the government with young blood.

“This is going to swing the election,” Khan told AP before the rally. “The youth is standing with us.”

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