South Asia

Musharraf plans to return to Pakistan with new party

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Media caption"We need to introduce a new political culture"

The former military ruler of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf has said he is forming a new political party with a view to returning to politics in the country.

He said he will be going back to Pakistan before the next elections which are due in 2013.

Pervez Musharraf who now lives in London has for some months been talking about the possibility of returning but now his plans are firming up.

He said he will be standing for a seat in the next parliament.

From there he hopes to become either prime minister or president.

"I believe very strongly that it's better to try and fail rather than not try and go down without trying," he said.

"At this moment we see darkness all over in Pakistan, we have to show light, we have to show an alternative, a viable alternative where the people see light and gain some confidence."

Low standing

Asked whether he had already had his chance and that it was time to give others an opportunity to lead, he said last time he lacked legitimacy internationally because he was in uniform.

"I cant be sure of becoming President again but I believe there is a good chance of my winning" he said.

He dismissed his low standing in the opinion polls saying that polls can be manipulated and that his popularity is increasing.

The retired general acknowledged that if he did go back he would have to face some legal cases and he said there would be risk of his being killed.

But he said he would answer every allegation against him.

"A time has come in Pakistan when we need to introduce a new political culture, a culture which can take Pakistan forward on a democratic path, on a correct democratic path, not on an artificial, make-believe democratic path," he said.

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