The embattled former military ruler, Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, has said that he wants to go abroad for medical reasons but made it clear that he will not flee the country.
Addressing a convention of his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) in Islamabad by telephone from Karachi, Musharraf said that although his health was improving, he still needed to go abroad for medical tests. However, he promised to return to Pakistan and face ‘baseless and politically motivated’ court cases against him.
Musharraf said he had no reason to flee the country and had nothing to be afraid of. “I’m not one of those who looted the nation’s wealth… I’m not afraid and I’ve no reason to flee the country,” he said.
The former president added that he was no stranger to difficult times.
Musharraf, who turns 71 today (Monday), told his supporters that he was proud of everything he had done while in power. He claimed that he had introduced real democracy in Pakistan and initiated several development projects. These schemes, he said, have not been treated well ever since he was forced to leave the office.
“Pakistan has been facing difficult times since 2008… people are not getting jobs and poverty is increasing day by day,” he said. “Pakistan has secured loans worth $50 billion over the last six years,” he said and asked the rulers to explain where this money was spent.
The former president also condemned the killing of Pakistan Awami Tehreek workers in Model Town, Lahore, and offered his condolences to the bereaved families. He appealed to citizens, serious politicians and the armed forces of Pakistan to join hands for the betterment of the country.
Earlier, the APML convention elected Musharraf as chairman of the party for another term.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th,2014.