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xinhui
01 Oct 10,, 18:51
Ex-Pakistani leader admits mistakes while in power - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101001/ap_on_re_eu/eu_britain_pakistan)
Ex-Pakistani leader admits mistakes while in power

Pervez Musharraf AP Pervez Musharraf, the former President of Pakistan, aknowledges the applauf of his supporters as he arrives



By PAISLEY DODDS, Associated Press Writer Paisley Dodds, Associated Press Writer 28 mins ago

LONDON Pakistan's ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf apologized Friday for mistakes made during his last term in office, as he launched a bid to return to power.

Musharraf told scores of cheering supporters that he made decisions which had negative repercussions for his nation of 175 million. But the leader who stepped down in 2008 amid protests and under the threat of impeachment did not elaborate on what the mistakes had been.

"I take this opportunity to apologize," he said. "Human beings make mistakes."

The 67-year-old former leader spoke as he launched a new political party, arguing that no political alternative in his country now shows any hope of alleviating the "darkness that prevails in Pakistan." He said under his regime there would be progress in every field.

"I have confidence I can lead Pakistan toward light," he said.

Numerous terror plots and attacks, including the 2005 suicide bombings that killed 52 commuters in London and an active plot to wage Mumbai-style shooting sprees in Europe, have been seeded in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Musharraf declared that he had the experience to tackle the challenges of al-Qaida, the Taliban in the mountainous tribal regions, and the spread of extremism in Pakistan. He insisted that unless Pakistan was part of the fight against terrorism and extremism, "that fight will not succeed."

"People should be patient with Pakistan," he said.

He said he would not do anything different this time around, saying his regime made strides to stamp out terror threats and that a crucial part of his strategy would be improving the economy. He did not say whether he would change

He said he would not do anything different this time around, saying his regime made strides to stamp out terror threats. He did not say whether he would change his stance with the United States and coalition forces.

"There will be zero tolerance for extremism," he said.

Security was tight for the launch, which was taking place at 1 Whitehall Place a storied and posh former gentlemen's club. Reporters were swept before coming in, then bomb-sniffing dogs were brought into the room where about 200 people applauded at the announcement.

Several Pakistani politicians have used London in recent years to announce their intended political comebacks though few have been successful. Some 1 million Britons are of Pakistani descent and many retain ties to Pakistan.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted in the 1999 coup, stayed in the limelight by holding steady news conferences about his return. At the same time, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who struck a deal with Musharraf to drop corruption charges against her should she return to the country announced from London in 2007 that she planned to return to Pakistan after nearly a decade in exile.

Bhutto was assassinated in Pakistan at a political rally in late 2007, three months after her return. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, who continues to be dogged by corruption allegations, became Pakistan's president in 2008.

Bhutto's comeback was bolstered by the power of the Bhutto political legacy Bhutto's father was a beloved figure among the poor. But Musharraf, who called for an end to "hereditary politics," doesn't enjoy the same support, and his return would be mired with obstacles.

Many critics would likely try to prevent it through the courts. Some want him tried for treason for violating the constitution when he seized power in 1999. Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, who Musharraf fired in 2007, is back in office and is unlikely to give him an easy ride.

Musharraf may be arrested or deported, just as Sharif was upon his return to Pakistan in 2007. Musharraf seemed unconcerned.

"There is no case against me in the courts of Pakistan today," he said. "Whatever cases there have been, have been motivated politically. ... I am prepared to face anything. I am not afraid."

It also is unclear how much support Musharraf still has within the military. Many of his close allies in the army and in the intelligence services have since retired.

"He doesn't have the same kind of clout he did," Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan's ambassador to Britain who was appointed under Musharraf, told The Associated Press on Friday. "He's yesterday's man." Musharraf was Pakistan's leader when Islamist militants began attacking the state in earnest and was a key ally of the Bush administration's so-called war on terror after the Sept. 11 terror attacks in 2001.

While in power, Musharraf launched several offensives against militants in the northwest, but struck deals with insurgents when it became clear the army could not win by sheer force.

Pakistan's army and the current government, however, arguably have been more forceful and successful in flushing out al-Qaida operatives and Taliban supporters.

Musharraf's new political party must be registered in Pakistan before the country's scheduled 2013 elections. He will spread his message at a rally in Birmingham on Saturday.

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Associated Press Writer Chris Brummitt contributed to this report from Islamabad.

SLASH
05 Oct 10,, 13:12
I think he was a far better leader for Pakistan as far as India is concerned. I think Pakistan may have been in a better state with him being in power right now.