Ex-president Musharraf to return to Pakistan before election

DUBAI Fri Mar 1, 2013 9:28am EST

The former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, speaks at a news conference at a branch of his political party in east London January 19, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

The former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, speaks at a news conference at a branch of his political party in east London January 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Pakistan's former President Pervez Musharraf said on Friday he would return home this month after almost three years in Dubai and take part in a forthcoming parliamentary election.

Parliament is due to be dissolved by March 16, after which an interim administration will take over to oversee the run-up to the election to be held within 90 days.

Musharraf seized power in a 1999 coup and briefly imposed a state of emergency in Pakistan before resigning in 2008.

"I have decided to return to Pakistan within a week of the formation of the interim government," he told reporters in Dubai, saying he believed this would take place on March 16.

Asked if he planned to run for president, Musharraf said: "The presidency will come at a later stage. Now I'm going back for the parliamentary elections and hope my party does well."

Some media reports have said Musharraf, who faces the threat of arrest in Pakistan on charges that he failed to provide adequate security to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto before her assassination in 2007, will seek Saudi help in obtaining guarantees that he will not be detained.

"I don't see any reason why I should be arrested," Musharraf said. "We will see what will happen when I land in the airport and take action according to that."

(Reporting by Amena Bakr, Writing by Raissa Kasolowsky; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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