Musharraf weighs up Pakistan presidency bid

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Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf said he thought he had a good chance of winning the next presidential election, in an interview aired Friday.

The ex-president told BBC radio he wanted to help the country regain its self-confidence, saying Pakistan was in a "pathetic" situation.

Though he could not be confident of victory, the former army chief said it was better to try and fail to lift the "darkness" enveloping the nation than to make no effort.

Asked if he was confident of becoming the next president of Pakistan, the retired general replied: "No I can't be assured, I can't be confident, but I believe there is a good chance of my winning on the political scene.

"I haven't decided whether I'm going to be president or anything, but however, winning first of all in the next election is the issue.

"I can't be sure of that also but as I said, there is a good chance and I believe very strongly that it's better to try and fail rather than not try and go down without trying, because at this moment we see darkness all over in Pakistan.

"We have to show light, we have to show an alternative or viable alternative where people see light and gain some confidence, because there is total breakdown of self-confidence of the people of Pakistan. They have lost hope in Pakistan. It's a pathetic situation."

Musharraf ousted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup in 1999. He was president from 2001 and has mostly lived in London since resigning in 2008.

The next presidential elections should be in 2013.

Musharraf was asked about fears that money donated towards flood relief in Pakistan might end up lost in corruption.

"There is corruption in Pakistan, there is no doubt about it, it is heartbreaking how people are not bothered about the country. They have a lot of money and yet they are corrupt," he said.

"The advice I would like to give is they ought to be careful on who they are giving the money to.

"One thing that I would like to advise when you give your money, a donor or an organisation getting the money, it's good that they show so many hundred thousand dollars collected but we should ask how much is going to the people?"

© 2010 AFP

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