SC's arrest order made me reconsider return to Pakistan: Musharraf
Pakistan's former military-ruler Pervez Musharraf today said that he was ready to return to Pakistan but the Supreme Court order for his arrest forced him to change his mind. Musharraf, who has been in exile in Dubai and London since 2016, is facing several cases in the SC, which has asked him to return to Pakistan if he wanted to contest the upcoming General-Elections.
The former president, through a video link said there will be no benefit of his return to the country if he is arrested just after his appearance before the apex court. "The entire world knows that I am not a coward, but now I will wait for an appropriate time to return," the retired army general said.
Musharraf had left Pakistan on March'16 for medical-treatment. His lawyers say he is still getting treatment for Parkinson's disease. He had filed nominations from two constituencies from his party, the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML). But his nomination-papers were rejected from the NA-1 constituency from Chitral. He then withdrew his nomination from NA-247 in Karachi after he was asked to appear before the election-officer.
The SC on June 13 had issued a rebuke to Musharraf and told him to present himself before the court in 24 hours, saying the fate of his nomination papers depended on it. "If Pervez Musharraf is a commando, he should show us by returning instead of continuously parroting like a politician that he will return," Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said.
"Why does Musharraf need protection?" the Chief Justice wondered. "How can a commando be so afraid? Musharraf has said that he evaded death many times but was never afraid," he remarked. "He didn't feel afraid when he was taking over this country," Nisar added.
Asked about the National Accountability Bureau's probe into his assets, Musharraf said he had no issues with the investigations into his assets and would cooperate fully with the NAB. "What have I to hide as I live in a three-bedroom apartment," he said. APML president Dr Muhammad Amjad said the Supreme Court had given Musharraf insufficient time for his travel, accommodation and security arrangements.