Musharraf will be 'welcomed' by chief justice: Gilani

Talking to reporters in his native city Multan, Gilani made the tongue-in-cheek remark in response to questions about the former president's announcement that he was planning a return to Pakistan's political arena.

"I have heard these reports but can only say that he'll possibly be welcomed by the chief justice of the apex court," Gilani said, hinting at the cases pending in courts against Musharraf and the judicial crisis during his last few years in office that eventually led to his ouster.

Several cases are registered against the former army chief for his alleged involvement in the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, the Lal Masjid operation, the suspension of the judiciary and the declaration of emergency. A sessions court in Abbotabad in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province has already ordered freezing of Musharraf assets for not appearing to defend himself in person.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who was suspended twice in 2007, has had a tense relationship with Musharraf during the last few years of his rule. Following the general election in 2008, calls for Musharraf's impeachment grew and he chose to resign Aug 18, 2008.         
Musharraf, who clinched power after toppling the Nawaz Sharif government in 1999, led the country for nine years. He has been living in self-imposed exile, shuttling between Britain, the US and Dubai, for more than two years now.

However, he has been harbouring hopes of returning to power and has also launched his own political party, the All Pakistan Muslim League.     

"I am going to Pakistan in the near future and will take part in politics there," Musharraf has said. "I will contest elections to become president or prime minister again," he vowed.

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