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Pervez Musharraf says political elements conspiring against his return

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf today said that he is not daunted and would return to frontline of his country's active politics with the launch of his new party on October 1.

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Charging that "political elements" were conspiring against him, former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf today said that he is not daunted and would return to frontline of his country's active
politics with the launch of his new party on October 1.

"There are political elements in Pakistan who are opposing my return. My answer to them would come on October 1 when I'm going to declare my new party," Pakistan's former military ruler told reporters here on the sidelines of an investment summit here.

In a volte-face, Musharraf urged the Western powers to stay on course against Taliban and not to abandon Afghanistan.

According to classified documents released by the National Security Archive of the George Washington University, Musharraf as President of Pakistan had opposed the then Bush administration's call for a crackdown on Taliban post 9/11.

"The whole world is against Taliban. So why cannot we? We can win and we will win...no one is analysing the effect of abandoning Afghanistan and its effect on Pakistan, region and the world," he said.

Vowing to "bring about a new political culture in Pakistan", 67-year-old Musharraf said that he would declare his new political party on October 1, but did not specify where he would launch the party.

Musharraf, who lives in self-imposed exile in London, shrugged off threat of possible legal action against him on his return to Pakistan, arising from years of heading a military rule in the country.

"There are sections of political elements who are engineering these cases. I'm very confident that I can overcome this on my eventual return home and nothing will happen against me," Musharraf said in his comments quoted by Pakistan's Urdu daily Jang.

Speaking after addressing a CLSA investment seminar here, Musharraf expressed confidence in his ability to regain popularity and said he would stand for Pakistan's next general elections scheduled for 2013.

The former military strongman had to step down from office in August 2008 after months of protests when he dismissed the country's top judiciary.

Acknowledging that he had lost public support after his action against judiciary, Musharraf claimed that he had rebuild support among the Pakistan's youth in the age group of 18-34.

"The youth in Pakistan is yearning for a change. It is the youth that is demoralised in the country which has to be awakened to introduce a new political culture in Pakistan," he added.

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