Musharraf returns to thin welcome in Pak

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf salutes the crowd on his arrival at Karachi, Pakistan, on Sunday.

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf salutes the crowd on his arrival at Karachi, Pakistan, on Sunday.

Former Pakistan military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Sunday returned home from self-imposed exile amid Taliban death threats and an indifferent welcome from Pakistanis. There were only a few dozen people outside the airport to welcome him when he landed in Karachi, ending five years in exile.
The authorities did not allow him to hold a news conference at the airport and cancelled permission for a rally at the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah after the Taliban threatened to dispatch suicide bombers. Addressing the Taliban, Mr Musharraf said he is an equally good Muslim as those who consider themselves better Muslims. He is adamant on contesting the general election and expects a good response for his All Pakistan Muslim League. He had seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999, when he was Army Chief, and left Pakistan after stepping down in August 2008 when Mr Asif Ali Zardari was elected President after the assassination of his wife, former PM Benazir Bhutto.
Mr Musharraf’s Emirates flight from Dubai landed at around 12.45 pm (local time). His official Face-book and Twitter accounts provided running commentary, posting messages and photographs of him on board. “Settled in my seat on the plane to begin my journey home. Pakistan First!” said one message.
Mr Musharraf, who has been granted protective bail against the threat of immediate arrest on his return, told reporters before leaving for Karachi that he was “not feeling nervous” but admitted some concerns. “I am feeling concerned about the unknown... there are a lot of unknown factors of terrorism and extremism, unknown factors of legal issues, unknown factors of how much I will be able to perform (in the elections),” he said.

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