Ex-Pakistani strongman vows return ahead of vote

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(AP Image)

(AP Image)

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) – Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf says he doesn’t fear arrest despite facing criminal charges and he vows to return to his homeland and contest upcoming elections after more than four years in exile.

But legal problems are only one challenge facing Musharraf. The Taliban is warning they have an assassination team ready to kill the one-time military strongman if he sets foot in the country on Sunday as promised.

Musharraf announced in early March that he would return to Pakistan to take part in upcoming elections, despite allegations he was part of a conspiracy to assassinate ex-premier Benazir Bhutto, militant threats to his safety and a waning popularity. The deposed general said he would lead his party in elections scheduled for May 11.

Musharraf told reporters Saturday during a press conference in Dubai, “I am going back to save Pakistan.”  He said he will return to take part in the elections despite the “fear of the unknown,” including possible death threats.

He plans to travel Sunday to Karachi. Journalists and supporters of Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League are expected to accompany him.

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