x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Pervez Musharraf to return to Pakistan at the end of the month

Former Pakistan president will hand himself over to the courts when he arrives in Karachi later this month.

DUBAI // The former president of Pakistan will leave Dubai and hand himself in to the courts in Karachi next week.

Pervez Musharraf has been warned he faces arrest over allegations that he failed to provide enough protection for the assassinated prime minister, Benazir Bhutto.

But the former general’s press aide, Khurram Harris, said he had not committed a crime and his party did not expect him to be detained when he arrived.

“The charges against him are politically motivated,” he said. “The arrest warrant was issued because he did not initially appear in court but now there will be no reason for him to be arrested as he will present himself to court.”

Mr Musharraf will travel to Pakistan on a commercial Emirates flight from Dubai on Sunday.

“When he lands he will voluntarily hand himself over to the court,” added Mr Harris. “We will fly back along with about 250 other people, including Pakistani and international media as well as party supporters from the US, UK and Canada.”

Mr Harris expected the Pakistani government to provide security.

He did not rule out the former leader’s party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, working with the former cricket star Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

“We believe that we can become a third force in mainstream Pakistani politics,” Mr Harris said.

Mr Musharraf came to power in a military coup in 1999. He was president from 2001 to 2008 and has been in self-imposed exile since.

nhanif@thenational.ae