Dubai: Preparing a comeback two and a half years after he left the Presidential Palace, Pakistan's former president Pervez Musharraf says he is determined to ‘recreate' Pakistan with the help of youth if he is voted into office.
"Pakistan's turnaround is possible but people have to support me to introduce new political culture in the country to set the pace for good governance and development," Musharraf, who is planning to contest the 2013 elections, told a community gathering in Dubai on Saturday.
During his speech at the packed hall of a Deira hotel, Musharraf spoke at length about the "deteriorating" political and economic situation in Pakistan and harshly criticised the present government for "massive corruption and bad governance."
"There is no governance but only politics," he said, adding that the country is "nose-diving" and there is an "acute leadership vacuum." "The situation has become so bad in Pakistan that people now are ashamed to be called Pakistanis ….today there is no pride for us, we have a sense of hopelessness, disappointment and depression as Pakistan has become the ‘sick man of Asia' as was written in a newspaper [Gulf News, December 24]."
Since the launching of his political party All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) in London this year, Musharraf has been busy meeting Pakistanis living abroad to muster support for his political aspirations and is determined to go back to Pakistan before the next general elections which are expected to be held in 2013. "I am not scared to go back to Pakistan and let me assure you that I will go to contest elections. They don't know me as I am a commando and have enough courage to counter any obstacles," said an emotionally charged Musharraf, punching in the air.
Musharraf was given a warm welcome and a standing ovation by a packed audience.
The former military ruler, who was at the helm of affairs for eight years since toppling Nawaz Sharif's government in 1999, now believes that "people power" is stronger than the "army uniform". "I will have more power if elected with the people's mandate," he added.
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