Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said he wants to return to his country because he has “a conviction that it can be set right.”
“And that is why I want to go back,” Musharraf told Piers Morgan last night on CNN.
Musharraf resigned in 2008 under threat of impeachment and went into self-exile in London. He would face charges in allegedly conspiring to assassinate former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
“I believe that there always is a time that comes when there’s a cause bigger than self. And this is the situation in Pakistan. As I said, it’s been run to the ground while it has all the potential to do well,” said Musharraf, who told Morgan months ago that he was ready to return in spring 2012 to run for president in 2013 but hasn’t done so. “So, therefore, I thought I must go back and try to contribute again to stabilize Pakistan and move it to a progressive development.”
He claimed that he stabilized the country after 2001 but now “it is very dangerous because of all that is happening inside — terrorism, extremism, the economy going down, law and order.”
Musharraf “totally” agreed with Morgan that Osama bin Laden hiding in plain sight without the knowledge of anyone in the government is “not believable.”
“But I personally am convinced that that — it is a case of negligence and not a case of complicity. I believe that. I strongly believe that that is the truth,” Musharraf said. “…For two years he was there and I didn’t know it,” he added, referring to the time bin Laden was in Abbottabad that overlapped with his presidency.
“So this is the reality. And such things happen,” he insisted. “After all, 9/11, there were 19 people under training for six months. They were — they hijacked four planes from four different airfields, took them into the air. They left the flight path and went to the World Trade Center. How come CIA didn’t know anything about it at all? So these things happen. It is a negligence.”
When asked about the U.S. president election, Musharraf skewed to the right.
“Generally in Pakistan, people believe that Republicans have always been favorably disposed toward Pakistan, more than the Democrats,” he said, maintaining that he still finds President Obama “arrogant.”
“He hasn’t contributed much toward the betterment of relations with Pakistan or resolution of disputes between India and Pakistan. In fact, maybe partially he has shown pro-India leaning against the interests of Pakistan,” Musharraf said. “But Mitt Romney is not a tried person. So I wouldn’t be able to comment on what he would do. All that I would like to say is that he must understand regional dynamics.”