'Defiant' Musharraf ready to take on Pak SC head-on if summoned

     Accepting the challenge thrown at him by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Chief (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif, former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has said that he is ready to appear in the Supreme Court if summoned in any case. "I only hope that justice will be done," Musharraf said. Interacting with media persons during a press conference here, Musharraf clarified that he has no regret over any decision taken by him during his eight-year long tenure. The Lal Masjid operation, Akbar Bugti's murder, NRO and decisions taken regarding the judiciary, and all other decisions were taken in light of the situation at that time, Musharraf said. In December last year, Pakistan's Supreme Court declared the emergency imposed by Musharraf in 2007 as unconstitutional and illegal, and went on to strike down the amnesty law, the National Reconciliation ordinance (NRO), following which several criminal and civil cases were filed against Musharraf. Responding to a question regarding the United Nations inquiry report, which held his regime responsible for the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Musharraf stressed that Bhutto was provided full security cover, and that the then government could not be blamed for the gun and bomb attack on December 27, 2007. He said Bhutto's death was a great loss, but to implicate him and other top officials such as the then Director General Military Intelligence (MI) was part of a conspiracy. Musharraf said he would return to the country soon and participate in elections, adding that he would formally announce his political party in few days. "As far as a date for returning to Pakistan is concerned, I have not fixed a date but there is one desire. Whenever the next elections are held, whether they are end-term or mid-term, I will return to Pakistan before that," The Nation quoted Musharraf, as saying. Meanwhile, Musharraf's legal advisor Chaudhary Fawad said that the Supreme Court cannot summon the former President on the NRO issue as the apex court does not have the authority to do so and it can only review the law.

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