Pervez Musharraf to return to Pakistan on March 24

Pervez Musharraf

Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf would return to the country on March 24 to lead his party in upcoming elections, ending his nearly four years of self-imposed exile in Dubai and London.

Musharraf, 69, will return to the country intent on leading his party in upcoming elections, a statement released by him said.

Musharraf plans to fly on a commercial airline into Karachi on March 24, then attend a rally attended by 50,000 people including more than 200 Pakistani expatriates from the US, Canada, the UK and the UAE, the statement said.

He plans to lead his party, the All Pakistan Muslim League into Pakistan's general elections, which are slated for May.

In 1999, the then chief of Pakistan's army became its president in a bloodless military coup.

Musharraf, who stepped down as President in 2008 after he was threatened with impeachment, has earlier brushed aside questions on whether he would be arrested on his return in connection with several cases against him, including the case related to the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.

Pakistan Peoples Party leaders have said Musharraf would be arrested as soon as he lands as he is wanted by authorities in connection with Bhutto's assassination.

Musharraf has set several dates for his return to Pakistan in the past but put off his homecoming after he was threatened with arrest.

An anti-terrorism court has declared Musharraf a "proclaimed offender" or fugitive for refusing to cooperate with investigators probing Bhutto's death in a suicide attack in Rawalpindi in December, 2007.

Musharraf has been shuttling between London and Dubai after he went out of Pakistan in exile.

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