LONDON/ LAHORE: Former president and All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) chief Pervez Musharraf said on Thursday he would consult with members of his party before deciding whether to delay his return from exile later this month.
Speaking from Britain after friends and supporters in Pakistan advised him to stay away for his safety, Musharraf said he wanted to stick to his plan and fly home at the end of January.
"I have to return no doubt whatsoever. My decision stands between the 27th and the 30th of January," he said at a press conference in Ilford, east of the capital London.
But he added: "My party leaders in Pakistan are looking at the implications of my return and will give me the recommendation whether to return or whether to postpone. I have not had any recommendations yet."
He said he would fly to Dubai before going to Pakistan in any case.
Earlier today, APML leaders said in Pakistan that he should put off his return because he would be arrested if he came back.
The decision came after he consulted party members on his return plans.
In early January, while addressing a rally Musharraf had announced that he would arrive in Pakistan between January 27 to 30, 2012.
According to Express News, he had delayed his return on the suggestion of his "friends", who said that coming back to Pakistan right now might not be favourable for the former president.
Mohammad Amjad, senior vice president of the APML, told AFP that "no final decision had yet been taken" but said the retired general would make an announcement on his plans "later, perhaps today".
"His friends and party officials want him to postpone it for sometime. This was discussed yesterday at a meeting and conveyed to him," Amjad said.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik had assured the Senate on Wednesday that Musharraf would be arrested on his return to Pakistan.
“I assure this house that if he lands in Pakistan, he will be arrested because he is a proclaimed offender in the Benazir Bhutto murder case,” the minister had said.
The interior minister’s assurance came a day after Senator Raza Rabbani submitted a 10-point charge sheet in Senate, calling for the former dictator’s arrest.