LAHORE – Close aides of Pervez Musharraf deciding a surprise landing by the former strongman on March 17, have also managed a ‘green signal’ from a powerful establishment quarter regarding his safe return, TheNation has learnt.
Though, it is difficult even for the close associates of Musharraf to predict the exact role of their boss in the politics of the country, yet they have got assurance from the meaningful forces that he would be given due opportunity to launch himself during the interim setup.
Close aides of the former president, talking to this correspondent on Tuesday, claimed that APML chief was most likely to make a surprise landing on March 17 at Karachi, the day caretaker setup expected to be announced after the completion of the term of the incumbent government on March 16.
However, Musharraf himself announced a tentative date of his comeback at Dubai, which was a week after the formation of the caretaker government.
They maintained that the powerful establishment quarters have not promised Musharraf anything relating to the cases registered against him, however, they assured him that he would get a fair trail and the other power centres in the country would not be allowed to crucify the former army chief in the name of politics.
They informed that Musharraf would organise at least two major public meetings, one at Karachi and another at Lahore to express his existence among the masses, while the politicians known for their connections with the establishment would be asked to rally behind the former president in a bid to crown him as the head of a new political coalition.
When asked whether some factions of Muslim League expected to form a political alliance for Musharraf, they said, “It is not clear as yet. It may be a mix of former colleagues of Musharraf who are now in the PML-Q and PTI with new faces and unemployed politicians”.
They added that Musharraf would draw major support from ex-servicemen, which include ex-officers and foot soldiers from all wings of the armed forces.
Close aides of former president while saying that Musharraf would land at Karachi claimed that full gear preparations were underway to accord a warm welcome to their boss, besides plans to organise two major public meetings at provincial capitals of Sindh and Punjab.
Ahmed Raza Kasuri, a close aide of Musharraf when contacted, said, “The men in uniform will never allow insult to their former chief, however Musharraf will face all the charges against him, which he claimed were politically motivated”.
About the APML role, which has no organisational structure, he remarked: Success of unnoticed Pakistani political parties revolves around big public meetings and APML would organise show of force at major cities of the country, especially Karachi and Lahore.
When asked about Musharraf’s major support lies among the ex-servicemen, he said they were also the citizens and voters of this country and a political party needs voters and supporters, which APML has at its disposal.
He maintained that Musharraf was not in hurry regarding establishing his foothold in the political arena and he would pursue his political ambitions gradually and carefully.