Musharraf says will contest next Pakistan election

Musharraf says will contest next Pakistan election

Musharraf, who has been living abroad for over a year, announced his future plans while addressing a gathering of his supporters in the Pakistani capital by teleconference.

"I have decided to take part in Pakistan's politics and I will come forward in the next elections, irrespective of whether they are mid-term elections or end term elections.

"I will participate in them," he said in the brief address. The former President resigned in August 2008 to avoid impeachment by the Pakistan People's Party-led government.
A raft of civil and criminal cases were filed against him in courts across the country after the Supreme Court declared the emergency imposed by Musharraf in 2007 as unconstitutional and illegal.

A confident-looking Musharraf said he was determined to return to Pakistan as he had received a lot of support from Pakistanis living abroad during his recent travels to various countries. "The Pakistanis I have met abroad have told me I should return to the country," he said.

However, he was guarded about his plans for the future, saying: "My views on taking Pakistan towards progress will be revealed at an appropriate time. I will soon place my vision before the people".

Musharraf thanked people who had extended support to him, including his fans on the social networking website Facebook. He noted that his fan club on Facebook had rapidly grown to over 175,000 members and CNN had declared him "Connector of the day".

"If you are with me, I will not let you down," he said. In a message posted on his Facebook page yesterday, Musharraf promoted a gathering of his supporters to be held in Islamabad today.

He said: "Sitting on the sidelines of history never changed anything, become a part of positive change in Pakistan by attending the 8th of May 2010 (Pasdar-e-Pakistan) gathering at Islamabad Press Club (at 3pm)". Musharraf's supporters have also launched a move to register a new party – the All Pakistan Muslim League – to facilitate his return to active politics.