The former military ruler, General (retd.) Pervez Musharraf, returned to Pakistan on Sunday afternoon after four years of self-imposed exile in Dubai and London.
Though he landed in Karachi as per schedule, his first hours back home were not as he or his core supporters had planned them out to be. With the Sindh government cancelling the permission granted to his All Pakistan Muslim League to hold a meeting near the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, arrangements were made for him to address his supporters at the airport. This he did two hours after remaining confined in the airport.
The thrust of his speech was on reminding people of the Pakistan he had left behind. “I want to return that Pakistan to you,” he said, adding that his rule had ensured a strong economy and a stable nation.
But, as a result of the delay in his public appearance, many of the roughly 1,000 people who had come to greet him returned disappointed. In between, there were rumours that he was whisked away from the airport by security personnel because of threats to his life.
Soon after landing, Gen. Musharraf went on Twitter to say: “Thrilled to be back home. Meeting with APML office-bearers and workers. Pakistan First! PM [Pervez Musharraf].” He also tweeted a photograph of him — dressed in the traditional salwar kameez — sitting with some of his supporters.