Musharraf ready to challenge Sharif, Zardari politically

Islamabad [Pakistan], Nov. 16 : Stressing the need for a third political force in the country, former Pakistan military dictator General (Retd.) Pervez Musharraf has said he would try to unite all political forces to challenge the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif-led Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Asif Ali Zardari- Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-led Pakistan People's Party (PPP).

"I will try to unite different political forces to form a third power to challenge the PML-N and PPP," the Dawn quoted Musharraf, as saying.

When asked about his possible return to Pakistan for political struggle, Musharraf said: "I will come back to Pakistan when the court cases against me will conclude." "Political leadership in Pakistan is prolonging the cases against me and the judiciary is under the influence of the current government," he added.

In August, the Sindh High Court proclaimed Musharraf an offender for not appearing before it despite several notices while hearing a petition contending that a case should be filed against Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution.

Several cases are pending against Musharraf in courts across Pakistan. In September, a permanent arrest warrant was issued against the former military dictator by a court in Islamabad in the murder case of Lal Masjid deputy cleric Abdur Rashid Ghazi, who was killed in a military operation in July 2007.

During the interview, Musharraf also said that he does hold sympathy for the 'Mohajir' community but has no interest in the politics of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

He made the statement as mysterious banners popped up in Pakistan suggesting an alliance between Musharraf and Farooq Sattar-led MQM-Pakistan with the former having a leading role.

MQM-Pakistan has already rejected speculations over the 'plus one' formula proposed by Musharraf's counsel, who hinted at the inclusion of the former military dictator in MQM as a party leader.

Meanwhile, Senate chairman Raza Rabbani opposed Musharraf's entry in politics and said if the latter returns to the country or enters politics "that day should be the last day of politicians in Pakistan".

"It will be shameful for us if the person who destroyed the country enters into politics," said Rabbani.

Source: ANI