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Musharraf to launch party next month

HONG KONG—Former president Pervez Musharraf said Wednesday he would launch a new party on October 1, as the retired general plots a return to the frontlines of the country’s turbulent politics.Musharraf also accused Afghan President Hamid Karzai of lacking “legitimacy” but urged the West to stay the course against the Taliban and not to abandon the restive region. “I’m going to declare a party on October 1… We have to bring about a new political culture in Pakistan,” he told reporters in Hong Kong after addressing an annual investors’ forum organised by the CLSA brokerage.The 67-year-old Musharraf, who lives in self-imposed exile in London, shrugged off the threat of possible legal action arising from his years of military rule of Pakistan. “There are elements opposed to me, political elements, and they are the ones who engineer these cases. One has to face that. I’m very confident nothing can happen (on his eventual return home),” he said.Musharraf, who plans to stand for parliament at the next general election in 2013, did not say where he would launch his new party —called the All Pakistan Muslim League.But reports in Pakistan have said the October 1 event will take place in London. “I’m totally against the system where it becomes a family domain in all political parties. The essence of democracy is not there in Pakistan,” he said in Hong Kong.He had a dismal relationship with Karzai, who regained power last year in an election that was widely decried as fraudulent. “There must be a legitimate government in Afghanistan… He does not have that legitimacy,” Musharraf told the CLSA forum.—Reuters

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