Musharraf plans trip to Saudi Arabia to rally support: Sources

Published: January 8, 2012

Musharraf will be travelling to Saudi soon in order to get support before he goes back to Pakistan, says source. PHOTO: REUTERS / FILE

DUBAI: Former President Pervez Musharraf plans to travel to Saudi Arabia soon to gather support for his political comeback, Saudi and Pakistani sources told Reuters on Sunday.

Musharraf, who has been living abroad since he resigned in disgrace in 2008, has said he plans to return to Pakistan this month, despite possible arrest, in order to participate in a parliamentary election due by 2013.

“Musharraf will be travelling to Saudi soon in order to get support before he goes back to Pakistan,” said a Gulf-based Saudi source familiar with the matter. A Pakistani source confirmed that Musharraf, who is in Dubai, was to travel to Saudi Arabia soon.

The source declined to say what form of support the former president is seeking. But some reports have said that Musharraf, who faces possible arrest on charges that he had failed to provide adequate security to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto before her assassination in 2007, will seek Saudi guarantees that he would not be detained.

Saudi Arabia, which has considerable influence in Pakistan because of its economic support, has expressed concern over the friction between the army and the government in recent months.

“The stability of Pakistan is very important to the region and has to be maintained,” said a second source familiar with the matter.

On Sunday, Musharraf is scheduled to address a rally via video in Pakistan’s biggest city and commercial hub, Karachi, sources in his recently formed All Pakistan Muslim League said.

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Reader Comments (51)

  • Farz
    Jan 8, 2012 - 2:44PM

    Musharraf is loyal and NOT corrupt. Throughout his tenure the economy grew 6-8%.

    Achievements during his tenure outweigh any alleged mistakes he made during his tenure.

    From politics (local government), health care (rescue 1122), women empowerment, minority rights, economic well being of the people and so on.

    For Musharraf, Pakistan is and always will be first. He is a man who fought 2 wars for this country and several skirmishes. Served in the SSG. Saw his best friend die in battle. He did what was in Pakistan’s best interest.

    APML all the way!

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  • Mohsin Hasan
    Jan 8, 2012 - 2:45PM

    “Saudi Arabia, which has considerable influence in Pakistan because of its economic support”

    Aid is a curse. Beggars can’t be choosers. That’s why I agree with Imran Khan’s philosophy of reducing reliance on foreign aid, so we don’t get influenced by the lending party.

    Now that makes sense.

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  • Jan 8, 2012 - 2:49PM

    Sir, please come back soon. I don’t care what other fellow citizens say about you but for me you are our Hero. You steered the country during worst financial crisis, collapsing economy was revived and grew at an average rate of 7% which is not even 2% today.
    Poverty rate reduced from 35% in 2000 to 17% in 2000.
    And the list goes on.
    Most of Pakistani Hindus support you too. To be honest, we felt safer when you were in power.
    We need you Sir. Country needs you.

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  • R S JOHAR
    Jan 8, 2012 - 3:09PM

    The old practice of seeking support for the highest office in Pakistan has shifted from US to Saudi Arabia. The former President survived for nine years with US support but I am not sure whether SA would support him because of his Indian origin unless he presents his credentials as a descent from an Arab clan which all Pakistanis are taught in their text books.

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  • optimist
    Jan 8, 2012 - 3:26PM

    He ‘d better stay where he is.

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  • ishtiaer hussain
    Jan 8, 2012 - 3:32PM

    People say that Musharraf is involved in the murder of BB which is absolute nonsense. Musharraf government provided VVIP level security to BB. Liaqat Bagh, the venue of the political rally, was completely secured with hundreds of policemen and commandos deputed. Who asked BB to open the sun-roof of the bomb-proof SUV and play the crowd outside Liaqat Bagh on the open road where suicide bombers were ready to blast themselves who failed to enter Liaqat Bagh because of stringent security arrangements?
    Why so much propaganda against Mush? Judiciary want to malign him so as to pay back PML-N for what they did for the restoration of PCO judges.

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  • ishtiaer hussain
    Jan 8, 2012 - 3:43PM

    We Pakistanis are dumb and blind. We are not trained in our schools and universities to look at things objectively and critically. We are not trained as to how we can base our opinions and decisions on facts and data. We are driven by slogans and political propaganda all the time. In my view, the world’s most tough job is to be the president of Pakistan. Imagine the circumstances under which Musharraf had to operate and compare them to the decisions he had made. I think Musharraf was one of the most progressive and visionary leaders that Pakistan ever had. In order to assess the contribution of the Musharraf government to the country, you have to look back at the economic reports of the SBP, IMF and the World Bank about Pakistan’s economy. But who cares about the economy?

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  • Raj Patel
    Jan 8, 2012 - 3:45PM

    So now Saudis will play role of Godfathers here !!!
    Just how many masters does Pakistan have ???

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  • Khan Saab
    Jan 8, 2012 - 3:59PM

    Next election is going to be a big defeat for Saudi Arabia along with establishment parties and Mullah! Another term for PPP to make Saudi’s more frustrated!

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  • A
    Jan 8, 2012 - 4:00PM

    Musharaf was not responsible for the death of Benazir Bhutto. Why did she raise her hand after the jalsa? “Moreover she has her own security as well why her security guards fail to protect her?”

    I think that Musharraf should not come to Pakistan right now. There is a threat to his life in Pakistan. Taliban, Bugti guys, and many other are after his life.

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  • Jan 8, 2012 - 4:00PM

    @ishtiaer hussain:
    Fully agree with you sir. BB was herself ultimately responsible for her assassination.

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  • Talha
    Jan 8, 2012 - 4:22PM

    Why does he have to go to Saudi, the biggest damned puppets on this planet.

    These Saudi’s need to be taught a lesson not to get involved in Pakistan.

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  • Javed
    Jan 8, 2012 - 4:43PM

    @ishtiaer hussain:
    Are you implying that BB was responsible for own assasination? What rubbish!

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  • Parvez
    Jan 8, 2012 - 4:49PM

    Is it not a shame when your intended ruler has to look to Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, China for support to come into power and not to his own people.

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  • Imran Mohammad
    Jan 8, 2012 - 4:50PM

    Sab Sey Phelay Pakistan …Lekin us say phelay ..Saudia Arabia.

    ( Pakistan First but before that Saudia Arabia). :-> Shameless attitude and approach.

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  • Jan 8, 2012 - 4:57PM

    He has secured Israel support now approval from their sister state KSA is needed.

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  • Liberalache
    Jan 8, 2012 - 4:58PM

    After Mush’s attention seeking pro-Israel statement, I’ll suggest he make pro Osama statements while in Saudi Arabia….everybody will think he’s nuts, but he’ll be all over the front pages for at least a week.

    I agree with Raj Patel…..America, Saudi, Britain, UAE….is there anybody that we’re not subservient to?

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  • Sikandar
    Jan 8, 2012 - 5:03PM

    @Ishtiaer Hussain:

    Musharraf was a truly visionary leader that our country had got after a long time It is sad to see that most people fail to understand this fact. Most of what we had achieved under his progressive leadership has already been undone by this good for nothing excuse of a government. It is best for Mush to stay away from this country, we do not deserve leaders like him. “Pakistan ka Allah hi Hafiz…..”

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  • salim
    Jan 8, 2012 - 5:48PM

    He has extensive contacts with leaders worldwide from USA to China. He’s member of the elite group of higest paid speakers in the world. All this is very important in international relations!

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Jan 8, 2012 - 5:50PM

    So, the Saudis are the Kingmakers in Pakistan? Whatever happened to the notion of independence?

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  • Asad Malik
    Jan 8, 2012 - 6:03PM

    Geo Musharraf. Love you Sir.

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  • Raj Patel
    Jan 8, 2012 - 6:24PM

    @Liberalache:
    Shame is that not a single leader in Pakistan has ever learned or thought of bringing the country out of the mentality of dependance on others !
    This policy is going to continue in near future, as there are no other options, considering the state of economy, no matter what they say in public !
    Even IK will realise this fact, if he makes it to the office, that is if he already does not know the very fact. This may be just hollow PR exercise from him and his party to gain office nothing else !

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  • Maria
    Jan 8, 2012 - 6:28PM

    Where else would an illegitimate dictator go to find support? He has to find some corrupt Arab Kingdom to support his campaign with their ill gotten oil money. Musharraf should be arrested on his return and charged with treason for illegally occupying power. He has no right to engage in politics when he doesn’t believe in a constitution.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 8, 2012 - 6:28PM

    Saudia cannot buy the law in Pakistan.

    The government of Pakistan will simply say sorry to Saudi Government,if Saudi Arabia will interfere in the country’s law and make a request not to touch Musharraf.

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  • umair
    Jan 8, 2012 - 6:37PM

    Musharaf, now what’s the difference in you and Nawaz Shareef ?Recommend

  • Raj Patel
    Jan 8, 2012 - 6:56PM

    @Maria:
    with their ill gotten oil money

    I think you need to correct this as its more God Given as the oil is in their own Sovereign Territory !!!!

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  • HRo
    Jan 8, 2012 - 7:20PM

    Musharraf to me is best among the worst for Pakistan

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  • hahaha
    Jan 8, 2012 - 7:31PM

    Well this is sad story which independent country leaders goes looking for approval from foreign powers, Musharraf is the first guy to Saudi.We Indians wish a strong and independent Pakistan with great leaders.when will this happen, Please do not talk about Imran i am disappointed with the guy i thought he was honest and visionary, but then he just one more politico not a leader.

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  • molvi_whisky
    Jan 8, 2012 - 7:36PM

    Musharaf is far better than either Zardari or Nawaz, but I would place him behind Imran who is untested. Musharaf did commit many mistakes though he never had choice in certain cases as in the case of the aftermath of 9/11. But things have changed and Pakistan can and should say no to the U.S. which I doubt Musharaf would.

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  • Syed Mohammad
    Jan 8, 2012 - 8:04PM

    I think General saheb has played his inning and should honourably pursue his lecturing career. There’ll be many universities, clubs, forums who’ll keep inviting him. Please leave Pakistan to other players, some of them are still eager to complete your unfinished agenda – complete submission to USA and total destruction of Pakistan!

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  • Jadugar
    Jan 8, 2012 - 8:42PM

    Trying to land in Pakistan on the wings of Saudis and USA is not what Pakistanis are looking forward to. If you are really want to lead the nation then come on your merit. Carrying packages for the Saudis and USA is really what the Pakistani don’t want.

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  • hasan ansari
    Jan 8, 2012 - 8:50PM

    APML and PTI should both knock out the corrupt PPP and PML-N out. Atleast we know that APML and PTI are not corrupt and can deliver.

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  • Javed
    Jan 8, 2012 - 9:13PM

    @Mard-e-Haq:

    “So, the Saudis are the Kingmakers in Pakistan? Whatever happened to the notion of independence?”

    True. Don’t know what happened to Sovereignty! We keep talking about it 24/7 but end up doing the opposite.

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  • goggi
    Jan 8, 2012 - 9:37PM

    @R S JOHAR:
    Sorry Sir, I feel your comment…. from an Arab clan which all Pakistanis are taught in their text books….. is too hollow and substanceless!

    In my 35 years of stay in Germany, I have visited 13 muslim Pakistanis who lay on their deathbeds and heard from numerous similar cases. What did they wish in their last weeks/days/hours when confronted with the ultimate truth of death? Weeped to be buried in the Promised land of Macca, Madina or Karbela because all Pakistanis are brainwashed to be descendants of divine Arabs? How trivial is your comment. According to their last wish, they all were buried in the soil of their homeland in Pakistan!

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  • Americano
    Jan 8, 2012 - 10:30PM

    Isn’t it perturbing to Pakistanis that the KSA can influence political and legal matters in your country? Where’s that sovereign pride?Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Jan 8, 2012 - 10:51PM

    @goggi:
    Sir, you appear to have taken my comment about Arab origin too seriously which I had made it in lighter vein on your former President. However, I find that there is lot of difference in the mindset of Pakistanis who stay in foreign countries with those in Pakistan. Your comments confirm my assessment. Regards and best wishes. R S Johar India.

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  • Shahid
    Jan 9, 2012 - 12:21AM

    I can bet that most people who are against Musharraf can be cassified into two groups. The vast majority are from the exploiting affluent class who are part of the problems themselves. Thier support for so called democracy/lootocracy is to perpetuate the exploitation of common pepole.thier tummy are full and rising cost of living is not a problem for them .A small minority is true democracy lover in search of utopian world but far from reality. Pakistan’s primary need is economic and educational growth.there is no better person than President Musharraf at this time who can achieve this.

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  • RajX
    Jan 9, 2012 - 12:29AM

    Seems like nothing happens in Pakistan without Saudi Arabian approvals. Does it also include all the bombings you see there? It’s neither zardari or kayani who rule Pakistan. It appears the real rulers are the descendants of the “first Pakistani”, Mohamad bin qasim.

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  • stenson
    Jan 9, 2012 - 2:33AM

    Musharraf claimed that he is a “Syed” so maybe he thinks it makes sense for him to go to Saudi Arabia but I doubt Musharraf is a Syed any more than Saudi Arabia can stop Pakistanis from arresting this former dictator.

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  • Dr Jamil Chaudri
    Jan 9, 2012 - 3:28AM

    Musharraf is the traitor in the real sense of the word. He together with his army buddies are Mafia Gang. For his crime of assassinating the State, there is no need for trial (for he cannot deny the crime) Mafia Gang called Pakistan Army (MGcPA) is a serial offender. Recommend

  • Vikram
    Jan 9, 2012 - 5:32AM

    Musharraf lied about Pakistan army’s involvement in Kargil and refused to take dead bodies of Pakistani soldiers who died for their country. How can he afford to live in UK without a job?

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  • Seriuolsy??
    Jan 9, 2012 - 5:55AM

    The man has had his chance, rule like a dictator, made his money. He should now move on. We cannot have same people over us for eternity.
    You people who only care about economic aid need to wake up. Musharraf is irrelevant and he needs to realize that. As for his slogan” Pakistan first”, please spare us………. what you did you our sovereignty is beyond repair.

    We the people reject you.

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  • Raj - USA
    Jan 9, 2012 - 7:03AM

    40 comments so far and only two have mentioned the word “sovereignty” and that too only once in their comments.

    Most are comfortable with KSA than USA.

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  • grinz09
    Jan 9, 2012 - 5:56PM

    @Farz:
    Well said, Sir!

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  • grinz09
    Jan 9, 2012 - 6:00PM

    @Maria:
    How about the judiciary that gave him cover?!

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  • grinz09
    Jan 9, 2012 - 6:16PM

    @Javed:
    Partial responsibility definitely! Her very own advisor and campaign manager in the US, Mark Siegel, advised her ‘not to expose herself to unnecessary danger’. Another author says ‘her fatalism is no excuse’.

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  • Humanity
    Jan 9, 2012 - 8:08PM

    Does the sovereignty brigade see any issue with Mush’s itinerary ?

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  • Baloch Nationalist
    Jan 10, 2012 - 3:45AM

    @ishtiaer hussain:
    We Baloch never forget and we will always remember Musharraf who killed the octogenarian Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti. It is also hilarious to read your claim, which reads like Benazir committed suicide. Apologists like you can wipe the blood clean, but the sin and scent of murder will forever linger.Recommend

  • Umar
    Jan 10, 2012 - 7:35AM

    @R S JOHAR:

    Seriously Dude!! how ignorant are you (I doubt you were TRYING to be sarcastic). President of Pakistan is a proud Sindhi, Nawaz Sharif is a Kashmiri and Imran Khan a Pathan. Musharraf however claims an Arab decent. Sorry to break you the news but fact is there is no such thing as Pakistani or Indian Ethnicity, both countries have rich history with representations from multiple ethnic backgrounds. I do admire your obsession with Pakistan though.

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  • K B Kale
    Jan 10, 2012 - 12:26PM

    I really admire Musharraf. He now says that he, as COAS AND President of Pakistan, didn’t know that Bin Laden was living in Abbottabad for two years while he was President! Bravo, Musharraf!! I have yet to come across a person who can lie with such a straight face!
    In fact there was a lot of speculation just before 2004 US Presidential election that Musharraf will ‘spring’ Bin Laden to help Bush Jr to win the close election. Wasn’t such a wild rumour, after all!

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  • grinz09
    Jan 23, 2012 - 5:47PM

    @Farz:
    Well put! Thank you!

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