2 October 2010
Mr Musharraf said he would return to Pakistan
Former president of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf has held a rally in Birmingham for about 1,500 people a day after forming a new political party. Mr Musharraf, who resigned as president in 2008, said it was vital to address the largest Pakistani community outside of Pakistan.
Since he quit, the ex-military ruler has been living in exile in London. He unveiled the All Pakistan Muslim League at a gentlemen’s club in Whitehall, central London, on Friday.
Speaking ahead of the rally at New Bingley Hall in Birmingham on Saturday, Mr Musharraf told BBC News that he would set out his plans for the party.
“What better location than this which is the biggest (Pakistani) community in the world outside Pakistan,” he said.
I need to create an environment before I go there (Pakistan) and that is what I am trying to do”End Quote Pervez Musharraf
“After a long period of silence on my side, I have started now coming up front.” He said he wanted to encourage people to ignore the “vicious campaign” other political forces are waging against him and he vowed to return to Pakistan ahead of the next elections. He has said he risks assassination if he returns to Pakistan. “Now the issue is, we are not clear when the next elections will take place,” he said. “Depending where they take place, I will be there before that.
“Now, I need to create an environment before I go there and that is what I am trying to do.”
Khalid Mahmood, MP for Perry Barr, was at the rally.
Former president Pervez Musharraf said on Saturday that he did not know whether Dr Aafia Siddiqui had been picked up from Pakistan or Afghanistan. He also took a swipe at Nawaz Sharif, saying the former prime minister was mentally ‘bald’.
Swearing that he had never met Dr Aafia in person, the former president said that he did not know whether she was detained in Afghanistan or the circumstances surrounding her arrest in Pakistan. He also claimed he did not know how Aafia was taken to the United States.
Referring to the PML-N chief, he said that Nawaz Sharif had no solution to the Kashmir imbroglio and the joint communiqué issued at the time of the then Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visit to Lahore contained no mention of Kashmir.
Accusing Sharif of duping the people, he said that he (Sharif) became prime minister twice and both times he failed. Now, Musharraf said, he wants to come back to power again and destroy the country utterly.
Addressing a gathering in Birmingham, People, Musharraf said that he wanted to get rid of “empty cartridges”. People, he said, who cannot afford to go beyond traditional politics, were talking against him outside of the legislature.
He said that media was being used to befool the people and he was aware of who was talking nonsense on various TV channels, adding that the time of silence has ended and anyone talking against him would get a “jaw-breaking” response.
Warning people dependent on Nawaz Sharif, Musharraf said that their words lacked wisdom and respect.
Decrying what he called hereditary politics, the former president said time for such politics had passed, and Pakistan is not part of anyone’s personal asset.
Musharraf was accompanied on the occasion by Chaudhry Shahbaz Hussain, Sher Afgan Niazi, Barrister Saif, Dr Amjad Chaudhry, Fawwad Chaudhry, Rashid Qureshi and Dr Nasim Ashraf. Two men were dragged out of the venue when they raised slogans.
BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf says the PPP government lacks credibility and trust and nobody is ready to believe a word of the present ruling set-up.
Speaking at a dinner, he said the situation of the economy today was in a stark contrast to the time when he presided over a historic period of growth and development in all the sectors, including an increase in foreign reserves.
In his third engagement as the formal leader of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), Musharraf addressed a dinner gathering here of about 300 local Pakistanis and thanked his fans for pledging to support him to “reform Pakistan”.
But Musharraf upped his attack by a notch on his nemesis Nawaz Sharif and called him a “tried and tested politician who is synonymous with failure” and that Pakistan afforded no more room for experimentation with the likes of “failed politician” like Nawaz Sharif.
The only alternative to salvage Pakistan now, says the APML leader, is of course he (Mush) and promised the nation that, given their backing, he would turn around the fortunes of the nation.
Musharraf, who has been living in exile in London since2008, made remarks about Nawaz Sharif only five hours after his merciless attack on the leader of Pakistan Muslim League-N in which Musharraf said he believed Nawaz Sharif lacked intellect and needed more intelligence.
Musharraf also attacked the PPP government and told British Pakistanis that the international community lacked trust in the government and that’s the reason of capital flight from Pakistan.
Musharraf said he was aware of the dangers awaiting him but the fight for the “higher cause of Pakistan” was much more important than his life and instead of sitting idle and seeing Pakistan deteriorate further, he would “go for the gunfight – for the sake of Pakistan”.
Musharraf said he was earning a lot of money from his lectures in the west and could carry on with a lavish lifestyle but he believed he must return to Pakistan and needed to create an environment before going back.
Labour MPs from Birmingham Steve McCabe, Khalid Mahmood and APML leaders Chaudhary Shahbaz Hussain, Barrister Saif, Aslam Wassan, Akram Gill, Chaudhry Fawad, Hamid Mirza, Asif Shahzad, Sarfraz Anjum and Abbas Malik also addressed the dinner gathering.