Grand event: To welcome former President in UKJuly 14, 2009
LONDON: A large group of Britons of Pakistani origin comprising businessmen, professionals, academicians and intellectuals is giving finishing touches to a grand ‘welcome and launch’ event for former president general (retd) Pervez Musharraf who has made London his ‘temporary’ abode.
The group which calls itself ‘Lovers of Musharraf’ is planning to hold the event on or around July 18 after his return next week from his current Middle East tour which he is said to be undertaking on an aircraft specially sent for him by one of the Gulf rulers.
The members of the group believe that Musharraf was the best thing that had ever happened to Pakistan and that the country never had it so good except during his tenure.
The group wants to re-launch the general into Pakistani politics soon after the two-year post-retirement mandatory period comes to an end in September this year and is confident that his return would be even more triumphant than the one which was witnessed during Benazir Bhutto’s 1986 return home.
Politically, the timing would be just ripe as the present rulers by that time would have been exposed to the full and the people of Pakistan would be dying to welcome back their ‘redeemer’.’ one of the leading organisers of the event who is also footing part of the bill, said on condition of anonymity.
He said the event would not be a political meeting for understandable reasons, but a get-together of the like-minded British Pakistanis with the former president ‘to show him the great esteem in which we hold him.’
Meanwhile, Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham has asked the UK government whether Pervez Musharraf had been granted police protection in the United Kingdom; whether the same protection provided to all former heads of state or government on their visits to the UK or when they take residence here and whether any contribution is made by their country of origin towards such costs.
He has also asked whether any foreign nationals in the United Kingdom are given police protection; if so, how many and at what cost.
Lord Nazir has submitted some queries related to Gen Musharraf in House of Lords and has asked the government to furnish replies to them.
’Response from the government is awaited and it would be very interesting to know the official point of view on this controversial subject,’ said some British Pakistanis who appeared to endorse Lord Nazir’s queries.