Former President Pervez Musharraf has said that he is entering politics in order to bring back the fading hope of public and changes in political culture of Pakistan. In an interview with a British newspaper, former President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said that he has never considered himself a dictator. "Personally I never saw myself as a dictator, even though people called me that, but now when I come back I will be a politician on normal terms. I am also a born optimist, which helps. We have everything going in Pakistan - the failure is only of leadership, not the people." For the last two years he has earned a lucrative living on the global lecture circuit, enlightening select audiences on what it was like to have a ringside seat in the war on terror. As the military ruler of Pakistan in the turbulent period after 9/11, former president Pervez Musharraf has no shortage of ideas on how to fight extremists and pacify both his homeland and neighbouring Afghanistan. Now the former general is about put his theories to the test - quitting his comfortable retirement pad in London, where he has lived since stepping down in 2008, and returning to Pakistan to launch his own political party. The All Pakistan Muslim League will have its opening manifesto launch in London on Friday, aiming for nothing less than to "change the political culture" of his home nation, where last month's devastating floods have added to already crippling problems with terrorism and weak government. Indeed, given the scale of the challenges he now plans to grapple with, it is perhaps no surprise to learn that the public speaking firm to which Mr Musharraf is signed with, the elite Harry Walker agency, also has anti-poverty campaigner Bono, climate change guru Al Gore and several other stars of the "how-to-save-the-world" school of motivational speaking on its books. "I am very comfortable travelling around the world on lectures, but I am going into politics for the greater cause of Pakistan," Mr Musharraf told The Sunday Telegraph in an interview last week. "The people have reached the end of their hopes, and I want to try to rekindle their faith in both themselves and Pakistan itself. It would be better to try and fail rather than not to try at all." The former special forces soldier was also vocal on the military challenges in neighbouring Afghanistan, saying that the escalating bodycount of British, US and other Nato soldiers should be no excuse for an early pull-out. US-led plans to start drawing down troops by the middle of next year would, he warned, lead to the region becoming a "nexus for terrorists" all over the Muslim world. "I am not trying to portray a domesday scenario unnecessarily, but the implications would be very serious for Afghanistan, Pakistan and the rest of world," he said. "It would encourage and strengthen the Taliban and al-Qaeda, giving them a country to fall back on. Quitting cannot be time related, it has to be effect related." In a blunt comment on what he called "bring the boys home" sentiment in Britain, he added that soldiers should not sign up for military service if they did not expect to face combat. "I don't understand why there is this issue when an army suffers casualties. Of course you try to keep them to a minimum, and I offer my deep condolences to the family of any soldier is killed, but I would also ask their parents: 'Why was it that they joined the army? All voluntary armies face occasions where they have to maybe fight for their country and sacrifice their lives." Mr Musharraf, 67, was speaking at his flat off London's Edgware Road, where he lives in a smart three-bedroom apartment in London's Arab district. Handy for the smart restaurants of nearby Mayfair, where he and his wife are regular faces, it is also close to reminders of the turbulence in his homeland. Nearby Edgware Road tube station was among those hit by the July 7 bombers, carried by British-born Pakistani radicals, while last week, a few miles away in Edgware itself, Imran Farooq, the exiled leader of Pakistan's MQM party, was murdered in what may have been a turf war linked to events in Karachi. Mr Musharraf, who receives occasional Scotland Yard protection himself, declined to speculate on the motive for the killing, but said: "It is terrible that such an assassination could happen in a place like London." His self-rebranding as his homeland's civilian saviour is in marked contrast to how his political career began in 1999, when he became the latest in a long line of Pakistani military leaders to seize power from a civilian government seen as incompetent and corrupt. As the title of his recent biography In the Line of Fire suggests, he then came under huge US pressure to clamp down on the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the wake of 9-11, much to the fury of religious hardliners in his own country. His star faded further as he clung to power for a further seven years, culminating in calls from political rivals for him to face criminal charges when he finally stepped down. Since then, though, his reputation has recovered somewhat, not least because the civilian administration of President Ali Asif Zardari, who was elected in late 2008, is seen to have done little better. Widespread public anger at his government's lacklustre response to the floods, which have left 12 million in need of emergency food aid, could well prove a filip to Mr Musharraf's new party. While he declined to comment on Mr Zardari's performance, Mr Musharraf said: "There is a hell of a lot of disappointment among the people over the way the flood relief was tackled." He added: "What is required is unity of thought and action between three elements; the political forces, the army and the bureaucracy. They need an individual who can get them to think and act alike." Whether Mr Musharraf will find politics as easy in civilian clothes remains to be seen though. His fledgling party may struggle against the more established political groupings like Mr Zardari's Pakistan Peoples Party, which has enjoyed a mass following for several decades. He is, however, looking forward to one advantage that he lacked during his previous stints in power - legitimacy. "Personally I never saw myself as a dictator, even though people called me that, but now when I come back I will be a politician on normal terms. I am also a born optimist, which helps. We have everything going in Pakistan - the failure is only of leadership, not the people."(The Telegraph)