Musharraf ends self-exile, vows to face challenges ahead

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 24, 2013 09:46 hrs

Karachi: Former Pakistani military dictator Pervez Musharraf today ended nearly four years in self-exile by flying into Karachi despite Taliban death threat, saying he would face the security, political and legal challenges that lay ahead.

Musharraf, 69, along with his delegation of around 150 people including his party supporters and journalists landed at Jinnah International airport in Karachi by a chartered Emirates flight from Dubai.

Talking to reporters within the aircraft that flew him from Dubai to Karachi, a smiling Musharraf said: "It is (a) very emotional (moment). I'm going back after four years."

"There are a lot of challenges. There are security challenges, legal challenges, political challenges. But I will face them," Musharraf clad in a white shalwar-kameez said as he made his way out of the aircraft.

Geo News reported that the military authorities had through the defence ministry sent a letter to the interior ministry to provide security for the former president.

The defence ministry had said that given the existing circumstances in the country it was imperative for the interior ministry to provide top security to the former President, the channel reported.

His planned press conference at the airport was cancelled and would be held later in the week in Islamabad.

Security and party officials confirmed that the former President had after consultations with his All Pakistan Muslim League executive members inside the terminal building decided to hold a press conference in Punjab on Wednesday.

"Security officials advised Musharraf after his arrival that he should not hold any press conference neither try to address a rally as they wanted to take him from the airport to his destination as soon and as discreetly as possible due to high security risks," one of the party members said.

He is expected to stay in Karachi for two days before going to Islamabad where he ruled the country as chief executive and then President from 1999 to 2008.

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