ISLAMABAD - Contrary to his claims, it would be still hard to believe that former President Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf would be returning back against all the odds and even many in his own party (All Pakistan Muslim League) believed that his return plan would mainly hinges on his team of legal wizards, which would spring into action in a next few days to secure pre-arrest bail for him in a number of cases before he touches the country’s soil.

Many political observers and analysts are of the strong view that he would not return in the face of appalling challenges awaiting him in shape of cases of heinous nature, and some of them even said that they would only believe when they would see walking him out of some Pakistani airport.

Sources in All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) informed that he would going to address a public rally in Karachi today (Sunday) where he is expected to announce the venue and exact date of his return, but actually his return would greatly depend on the achievement of his legal team, comprising Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, Khalid Ranjha, Fawad Chaudhry, Syed Nayyab Gardezi, Chaudhry Faisal Hussain and some other senior lawyers, to secure pre-arrest bail for him in cases of heinous nature filed against him across the country.

Sources aware of the development taking place on this front informed TheNation that Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf had suffered a major setback a few days back when the officials at Ministry of Defence had turned down his request to provide him security being the retired Chief of Army Staff on the ground that as he is taking part in politics so providing him security cover would imply their (Army) involvement in politics and asked him to approach the ministry of interior to take care of his security matters as he had also served as President of Pakistan and being a Pakistani it is his right to seek security cover from the government.

Some insiders in the party were firm on his return plan and said that he would definitely be landing back as he was having many international players including some monarchs from Arab states on his back, besides the covert support from the United State of America and United Kingdom.

Sources in the party further said that he would be landing back along with some US and British MPs, media persons and senior party leaders.

Political observers said that as former president Musharraf, who was sent out from the country with full military protocol in the fall of 2008, will be visiting Saudi Arabia, UAE and some other Arab states ostensibly to have their blessings and approval before landing back in the country, so it could be safely assumed that he had left the country under some clandestine deal which also included bar on him for certain period to stay in exile. These political observers believed that the guaranty of his safe and honourable exit from the country was given by Army and it was further believed that under that deal former President Musharraf was to stay away from politics during his exile and he would play golf as some newspapers published at the time of his packing out from the country.

Although the spouse of former Army chief, Sehba Musharraf had moved the anti-terrorism court hearing former premier Benazir Bhutto’s murder case, seeking withdrawal of perpetual arrest warrant of her spouse (Musharraf) and declaring him proclaimed offender on the ground that they were not given proper hearing by the court.

But even if she manages to get him off the hook her spouse in this case, Musharraf could be arrested in Nawaz Akbar Khan Bugti murder case where he was implicated as principal accused, while he could also be arrested in the illegal detention of judges case lodged against him at Secretariat Police Station, Islamabad.

Former President Musharraf could be arrested in a number of other cases of heinous nature including subversion of Constitution of Pakistan by clamping November 3, 2007 emergency in the country and Lal Masjid operation killing scores of innocent children at seminary in the federal capital.

It is interesting to note that so far no overt reaction was shown from the Pakistan People’s Party government on the proposed plan of Musharraf’s return and this peculiar silence on part of the ruling alliance showed that something quite serious was going on behind the scene to facilitate the former military dictator.