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Pakistan’s Former Military Ruler Ready to Return

By Christopher Szabo     Apr 24, 2009 in World
Pakistan’s former military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, has announced he would be prepared to serve for a second term as president, according to Al-Jazeera television.
Speaking in an interview with Sir David Frost Musharraf said:
If Pakistan is in a nosedive, or about to self-destruct, if I can contribute something to rectify the situation, certainly I will. My life is for Pakistan. I still believe that Pakistan comes first.
Musharraf strongly supported U.S. President George Bush’s “War on Terror” following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Following a bloodless coup, which brought him to power in 1999, he resigned last year and handed over to a transitional government, which led to elections bringing the government of President Asif Ali Zardari to power.
Musharraf said he had become despondent about the situation in Pakistan, especially with the Swat valley adopting Sharia. The former president said he disagreed with government’s Swat deal, saying:
Denying the constitution of Pakistan, and bringing in laws which are different from Pakistan, must not be allowed. We don't want that kind of Islam in Pakistan. We don't want Talibanisation in Pakistan.
Musharraf also expressed dissatisfaction with the way the U.S. was prosecuting the war against extremists in Pakistan:
The worst part of the whole situation is that there is a trust deficit between the U.S. and Pakistan's intelligence service (ISI) and in many quarters against the army. Now that is a very serious situation, which never previously existed. These are the two institutions, which are the guarantors of stability in Pakistan. If anything has to be repaired, it has to be this trust deficit. Otherwise the two elements which are critical to fighting terrorism and extremism will be demoralised and not get the support they deserve.
The former Special Forces General also critcized America’s use of drones over Pakistani territory:
We cannot allow any foreign force to attack on our side of the border. We must use our own forces. And whatever resources are lacking – such as Predator aircraft – Pakistan must be given those resources.
Musharraf has until now remained quiet about politics since his ouster and has spent most of his time on international lecture tours.
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