Pakistan Taliban threaten to assassinate Musharraf


Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf prior to speaking at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace October 26, 2011 in Washington, DC.


Alex Wong

The Pakistan Taliban is threatening to assassinate former President Pervez Musharraf if he returns to the country as planned Sunday.

"We have prepared a special squad of suicide bombers for Musharraf," Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.

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"They will attack Musharraf after he arrives in Pakistan."

Musharraf has been living in a self-imposed exile in London and Dubai since 2008.

He is returning to contest the country's May 11 elections, and plans to attend a rally Sunday that will include Pakistani expatriates from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

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Musharraf took power in a bloodless military coup in 1999 and resigned in 2008 when Asif Ali Zardari was elected president.

His decision to align with Western powers in the war on terrorism was wildly unpopular, and the Taliban is seeking revenge for his crackdown on militants -- particularly a 2007 raid of a mosque in Islamabad that had become a refuge for those who opposed his support of the war in Afghanistan.

He also risks possible arrest in returning on charges of conspiring to assassinate pouplar politician Benazir Bhutto in 2007 and a Baloch tribal leader.

AFP contributed to this report.