Pakistan’s former President Pervez Musharraf said on Saturday he has been granted bail in advance to avoid being arrested upon his planned return home on Sunday following nearly four years of self-imposed exile.
Musharraf, who seized power in a 1999 coup, resigned in 2008 when his allies lost a vote and a new government threatened him with impeachment. He left the country a year later.
“This is a pre-arrest bail, or pre-arrival bail, and it has been granted on all cases, there is no question on me getting arrested when I land in Pakistan,” he told Reuters in an interview in Dubai.
The former army general faces charges of failing to provide adequate security to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto before her assassination in 2007. He also faces charges in connection with the death of a Baluch separatist leader.
Musharraf said he will spend the first few days upon his return in the port city of Karachi before going to Islamabad to deal with his legal problems.
“My arrest warrants were merely because of non-appearance in the courts, not that there is any case proven against me,” he said. “When I appear in the courts...the reason for my arrest should disappear.”
Pakistan’s Taliban have threatened, in a video released on Saturday, to use suicide bombers and snipers to kill former President Pervez Musharraf when he returns home from exile.
In a Taliban video obtained by Reuters, Adnan Rasheed, who took part in a previous attempt to assassinate Musharraf, said: “The mujahideen of Islam have prepared a special squad to send Musharraf to hell. There are suicide bombers, snipers, a special assault unit and a close combat team.”
Musharraf angered the Taliban and other groups by joining the U.S. war on terror following the Sept. 11 attacks and later launching a major crackdown on militancy in Pakistan.
He is due to return home on Sunday from Dubai, after nearly four years of self-imposed exile, in time to take part in parliamentary elections on May 11.
Musharraf seized power in a 1999 coup and resigned in 2008 when his allies lost a vote and a new government threatened him with impeachment. He left the country a year later.
The former army general faces the possibility of arrest on charges that he failed to provide adequate security for former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto before her assassination in 2007, and in relation to other cases.
But his most immediate concern may be Taliban militants seeking revenge.
“It is said when the jackal’s death is near it comes to town,” said Rasheed, who was among 400 prisoners who were broken out of a jail by militants in 2012.