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Musharraf open to return to politics

WASHINGTON/LAHORE: Former president General ® Pervez Musharraf has refused to rule out a return to public life saying he is ready to offer his services if his country remains “in trouble”.

In a CNN interview broadcast on Sunday, he said a ban on his participation in politics would expire in November and stressed: “We’re not running for office in six months.”

Musharraf said he was enjoying life speaking on the lecture circuit. “I wish the government well and that they must handle Pakistan and take it forward with peace and economic development. If that happens … I would be the happiest person continuing whatever I’m doing,” he said.

“But if Pakistan is still in trouble, and if any Pakistani, including myself, if you see that we can do something for it … well, my life is for Pakistan.”

Asked what he would do if his old backers in the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid call for his leadership, Musharraf said: “They haven’t asked me yet. Let them ask me first and then I’ll reply.”

Musharraf blamed Afghanistan as the source of Pakistan’s problems and renewed his feud with Afghan President Hamid Karzai accusing him of “double dealing”.

“We have suffered because of what is happening in Afghanistan. And we still continue to suffer because of that. Our society, I would say our social fabric has been torn. And we are trying to repair it,” he said, demanding an end to Western criticism of Pakistan’s army and powerful intelligence service.

Musharraf also attacked criticism of how more than 10 billion dollars in US military aid was spent by his regime.

“Five billion, half of it, is reimbursement for the (military) services provided by Pakistan. It is not your money, it is our money,” he said, adding the rest went on social spending and on maintaining Pakistan’s air force.

According to a private TV channel, Musharraf said there was some anti-US sentiment in Pakistani public and possibly in Pakistan Army as well, but denied there was any support for the Taliban in the Pakistani military. “Intelligence is a complicated game,” he said, adding that the weakening of the army or the ISI would weaken the fight against the Taliban. afp/daily times monitor

Source: Daily Times

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