After returning from a four-year exile, Pervez Musharraf is in custody. Carnegie Moscow Center’s Petr Topychkanov spoke about reasons for Musharraf’s return to Pakistan after four years of exile and his recent arrest with Voice of Russia’s Ric Young.
Regarding Musharraf’s reasons to return and participate in elections, Topychkanov noted that the former Pakistani president and top commander hoped for the support of the military establishment and military-owned businesses. However, while in exile he was unable to accurately gauge the changes in the Pakistan’s political environment , Topychkanov said. Musharraf thus made a mistake deciding to return to the country, where he actually had no support whatsoever.
According to Topychkanov, the arrest of Musharraf is a momentous event for Pakistan since his conviction would deprive the country’s military establishment of the legal impunity it has been enjoying for a long time.
Topychkanov admitted that there is no doubt the judges will try to bring all the possible charges against Musharraf, including the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. However, it is hard to predict whether he will be imprisoned since he will try to reach some sort of agreement with Pakistani judges and current politicians, Topychkanov concluded.