‘Musharraf will be arrested if he returns’

Davos (Switzerland) : Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf will definitely be arrested if he returns to the country, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said here Friday.

“In fact, there had been murder charges against him, and there had even been some very grave charges against him, and the Supreme Court had already given a verdict against him,” CNN quoted Gilani as saying at the Global Economic Forum in Davos.

“Certainly when he’ll come back, he has to face those charges and certainly be arrested,” the prime minister said.

Musharraf had announced plans to return from exile in late January and to run in the upcoming elections, but his party later said he was reassessing those plans when the Pakistan government warned that if he returned he would be arrested.

The Senate — the upper house of parliament — has passed a resolution demanding Musharraf be arrested and tried for treason for unconstitutional acts during his regime.

Among the charges against Musharraf are the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

A UN report in 2010 accused the Musharraf-led government of failing to protect Bhutto, who had returned to Pakistan from exile to run for prime minister.

Musharraf, who has been living in London and Dubai since resigning in 2008, has denied the allegations.

Gilani also said there were a “lot of challenges” in the war on terrorism, including militancy in the country’s northwest region.

“We are fighting for our own selves, for our own survival, because these militants, they have killed 30,000 innocent people, 5,000 brave soldiers,” he said.

The fight against terrorism has caused a “loss of economy”, the prime minister said.

“Yes, we are fighting a war on extremism and terrorism, and we’re a frontline state, yes, there are a lot of challenges. But it doesn’t mean that there is no investment coming to Pakistan. We have offered very lucrative incentives for investment in Pakistan and there are a lot of investment coming to Pakistan,” he said.

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