Musharraf selects seat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to contest poll

Monday, November 22, 2010

ISLAMABAD - Former military dictator Pervez Musharraf has selected Chitral in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to contest for a seat in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, a senior leader of his party has said.

Musharraf ruled the country for nine years after taking power in a coup in 1999. He stepped down in 2008 and left Pakistan. He now lives in London and has launched the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML).

APML secretary general Muhammad Ali Saif said Sunday that Musharraf would contest election from Chitral district.

Addressing a public meeting, Saif said his party would usher a new era of development in the country.

“The demand of people of Chitral that Pervez Musharraf should contest (an) election from their district has proved that the masses want a change in the politics of the country and that only a revolutionary leader can bring these changes,” the News International quoted him as saying.

The Chitral seat is currently held by Shahzada Mohiyuddin of the

Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), a party formed at Musharraf’s instance before the 2002 general elections by splitting the Pakistan Muslim League of Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister he overthrew in 1999.

The PML-Q was derisvely referred to as the “King’s Party” during the 2002 election campaign and was in power till it was ousted in the 2008 general elections by the Pakistan Peoples Party-Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz combine.

With general elections due only in 2013, it was not immediately clear whether Musharraf intends to wait till then or will persuade

Mohiyuddin to vacate the seat for him. Of course, there is the larger issue of whether Musharraf can return to Pakistan.

Saif, who is also a spokesman for the former president, said the government was taking credit of the development projects started by the previous government.

Chitral district, over 350 km from Peshawar, is near Afghanistan. It is one of the largest districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Shandur, the highest polo ground in the world, is located in Chitral.

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