KARACHI – The homecoming of former president and retired army general Pervez Musharraf has become the talk of the town, as the citizens see this development as an indication of a positive change in the country and Karachi in particular.

The arrival of the former president, 69, in the sprawling metropolis on Sunday has somewhat cheered up apolitical segments of society, who had been bearing the brunt of continuing violence, targeted killings, suicide bombings, bomb blasts, kidnappings for ransom, extortion, land-grabbing, poor law and order, unstable economic conditions, political clashes, terrorism and militancy for long.

After ending four years of self-imposed exile and defying death threats, Musharraf has arrived back to start his political career afresh as the chief of the All-Pakistan Muslim League.

A number of citizens The Nation talked expressed their satisfaction over the return of the former general and president. They were of the view that Musharraf could bring the country out of the menace of terrorism, political uproar and economic turmoil. They said during the tenure of the former president the higher education sector experienced a great progress. He must lead his party (APML) in the May general elections, they added.

Mehbood, an employee of the Karachi University, while criticising the former president, said Musharraf should be tried as he killed dozens of clerics and students of seminaries. He said the incident of the Lal Mosque in Islamabad that occurred in his regime was one of the worst incidents.

Volunteers Pakistan’s General Secretary Anwar Abidi termed the return of Musharraf positive for bringing an end to the turmoil in national politics, and said that Pakistan needed such a brave man to cut the hands of religious terrorists, who had killed more than 40,000 innocent Pakistanis.

The citizens of the largest city of the country welcomes Pervez Musharraf, who paid no attention to Taliban threats, he said.

A public college professor, declined to be named, said that Musharraf deserved to be prime minister or president of the country. Talking about the remarkable progress, made in the higher education sector of the country during his regime, the professor said that no government had paid much attention to the higher education sector in the country during 60 years as Musharraf. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) under the leadership of Prof Dr Attaur Reahman had done great job in the context of providing gigantic funds to the public universities on account of development programmes, he recalled.