Musharraf to contest Pak general elections from Chitral

Musharraf to contest Pak general elections from Chitral

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who is a "proclaimed offender" in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case, today announced that he will contest the upcoming general elections from Chitral, a constituency in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Musharraf, 69, made the announcement while addressing the elders of Chitral via a video-link from Dubai, the Express Tribune reported.

The former President who ruled Pakistan between 1999 and 2008, had formed a party called the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and had vowed to end his self-exile to contest the elections in the country.

However, with only months to go to the general elections, he is yet return to the country on account of security concerns.

APML Secretary General Barrister Saif said the former president had rendered great services to the people of Chitral, and development projects had been initiated during his tenure.

Saif said the people of Chitral had invited the former president to contest the forthcoming election from their area.

The former president was declared a "proclaimed offender" by a trial court hearing the Benazir Bhutto assassination case and a red warrant has also been issued to Interpol for his arrest.

Reports last month had said that Musharraf is keen to return to Pakistan from self-exile when an interim government headed by a "neutral" Prime Minister is formed ahead of the general election scheduled for early next year.

Musharraf's party sources had then said that he has started contacting friends in the powerful army and in political circles to assess the possibility of his homecoming under a caretaker set-up.

Musharraf, who has been living in London and Dubai since early 2009, dropped plans to return to Pakistan earlier this year after the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government warned he would be arrested on arrival as a court had issued a non-bailable warrant for him in connection with the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.

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