Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, who has been living in self-exile in London and Dubai for the last five years, returns today to Pakistan. He risks possible arrest in connection with the killing of an ex-prime minister, while the Pakistani Taliban says they have an assassination team ready
He is to arrive in Karachi today to take part in May 11 elections. But just hours after the announcement, the Pakistan Taliban released a video threatening to unleash suicide bombers and snipers against Musharraf if he comes back. One of the two people speaking in the video was Adnan Rashid, a former Pakistani air force officer convicted in an attack against Musharraf. The Taliban broke Rashid, along with nearly 400 other detainees, out of Bannu prison last year.
“The mujahedeen of Islam have prepared a death squad to send Pervez Musharraf to hell,” said Rashid in the video, speaking in front of a group of 20 militants holding rifles. “We warn you to surrender yourself to us,” he said. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, Musharraf came under intense pressure from the US to back the Americans in the coming war and cut off ties with the Taliban. Militants see him as carrying out the American agenda in Pakistan.
He faces charges of conspiring to assassinate ex-premier Benazir Bhutto, who was killed in 2007. His legal team petitioned a court in Sindh province where Karachi is located to give him preemptive bail, which essentially means that he will not be arrested immediately upon arrival. According to the bail order, he has 10 days to present himself to the court.