Current Weather
The Spy FM

Ex-President Musharraf Returns To A Different Pakistan

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
March 24, 2013

After four years of self-imposed exile, Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has come home. His plan is to run for office and reclaim political influence, but death threats and legal battles complicate his return.

Security at Karachi airport was unusually tight as he arrived Sunday, NPR’s Julie McCarthy reports; the Pakistani Taliban has issued threats to kill the former president. Just before he was whisked away for his own safety, CNN reports, Musharraf made a statement to a few hundred supporters.

“I have put my life in danger and have come to Pakistan — to you, to be the savior of this country,” he said. “I have come to save Pakistan.”

Pakistan’s columnists are calling the 69-year-old’s return politically naïve, McCarthy reports, even ego-maniacal.

“They wonder aloud whether this isn’t a man’s personal battle against irrelevance, against the idea that his day has come and gone,” she tells Weekend Edition Sunday.

Musharraf wants to run in Pakistan’s elections, which are scheduled for May 11. He formed his own party while in exile, the All Pakistan Muslim League, but McCarthy says most independent analysts view it as politically marginal. Musharraf has returned to a country that has changed in his absence, she says.

“For the first time in its 65-year history, a democratically elected government has just completed its five-year term,” she says. “It’s seen as a watershed for this country.”

Musharraf came to power in a military coup in 1999. Although he’s a civilian now, his legacy is that of a military dictator.

“Pakistanis like determining their own leaders,” McCarthy says. “While they may feel patriotic about their army, they don’t want to be governed by it.”

Musharraf stepped down from office in 2008 to avoid impeachment over suspending the nation’s constitution and imposing emergency rule.

Aside from the very real threat of death — former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in 2007 when she returned to campaign in Pakistan — Musharraf also faces imminent legal battles.

Among the charges against him is that he did not provide enough security to prevent Bhutto’s death. To smooth his arrival, McCarthy reports, Musharraf was granted pre-emptive bail, which essentially prevented his immediate arrest upon returning to Pakistan. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

9PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

View the program guide!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center