Taliban threatens to kill Musharraf when he returns to Pakistan

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 23, 2013 12:19 hrs

Islamabad: The Pakistani Taliban have threatened to use suicide bombers to target former military ruler Pervez Musharraf when he returns home from self-exile to lead his party in the upcoming general election.

In a video released to reporters in northwest Pakistan on Friday, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan said Musharraf will be the "main target" of the militants on his return.

Ihsan asked Musharraf to surrender to the Taliban.

Adnan Rashid, a militant who was involved in an earlier attempt to assassinate 69-year-old Musharraf, said the Taliban had formed a special squad of suicide bombers to target the former President.

Rashid, who escaped from prison last year, is shown in the video training a group of Taliban fighters assigned to target Musharraf.

He threatened Musharraf and called on him to surrender to the Taliban.

"Otherwise we will target you at such a place you will not know," he said.

In the six-minute video, both Ihsan and Rashid referred to the 2007 military raid on the radical Lal Masjid in Islamabad and said, "We will not leave you alive."

Ihsan also invited insurgents from Balochistan province to join the Taliban.

The raid against extremist elements holed up in Lal Masjid was ordered by Musharraf, who was also the army chief at the time.

Rashid was accused of masterminding several attacks on Musharraf.

The former junior technician of the Pakistan Air Force was sentenced to death by a military court for an attempt on Musharraf's life in 2003.

Musharraf vows return despite risks

Musharraf says he will follow through with his plans to return to his homeland despite risks of arrest and other threats.

Musharraf, who has been living in self-exile in London and Dubai, faces possible arrest in Pakistan in connection with the killing of an ex-prime minister.

But Musharraf told journalists Saturday in Dubai that he will return to take part in May elections despite the "fear of the unknown," including possible death threats.

He plans to travel Sunday to Karachi. Journalists and supporters of Musharraf's All Pakistan Muslim League are expected to accompany him.

Musharraf took power in a 1999 coup. He faces charges of conspiring to assassinate ex-premier Benazir Bhutto, who was killed in 2007.

Musharraf has called the charges baseless.

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