NEW YORK - Former president Pervez Musharraf, who plans to return to Pakistan next week, says that his party - the All Pakistan Muslim League - has 50/50 chances of success in the upcoming elections as some major political players were ready to support him.

“It is now or never for me,” he said in an interview with Metro, an international newspaper published in 19 countries. “If I am not there to stand for election, it will be another five years until I have a chance do so.”

The APML chief said “We are established with organisations across the country and some major political players are just waiting for my return to offer their support. There are a number of people and organisations that I call floaters in Pakistan, and my return will bring hope to them and the chance to work together. Only I can do this. Many people are clamouring for me to return. I would say I have a 50/50 chance of success.”

Replying to a question, Musharraf said Pakistan was largely stable under his leadership, with the economy growing and as a result keeping the prices stable. “We had consistent gas and electricity supplies.”

Now, he said terrorism, especially sectarian terrorism, was ailing Pakistan. Law and order had failed, especially in places like Balochistan and Karachi, he said, adding the economy has broken down and there is not enough economic stability and jobs. Asked why he was risking his life, Musharraf said “I have faith that life and death is out of my hands and I have a duty to return to my country to deal with its problems.”

About the cases filed against him, Musharraf said he had faith in the courts. “I am 100 per cent confident that these false, trumped-up and politically motivated charges against me will be thrown out.”