Just an old military pal is all the protocol Musharraf gets in London!

November 24th, 2008 - 4:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Pervez Musharraf

London, Nov 24 (ANI): In sharp contrast to the red carpet welcomes to which former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf had become used to during his nine-year-long rule, no official protocol was extended to him yesterday when he arrived in London. At the airport he was received by his old pal and a former military man Brigadier Niaz.

Besides, a middle-ranking diplomat was on hand to represent the Pakistan High Commission.

Musharraf flew into Heathrow 3 Airport on a regular Pakistan International Airlines flight PK-785 and disembarked like any normal Club Class passenger, reported The News.

After alighting from the aircraft, the former president was whisked out of the airport from an emergency exit to avoid Pakistani and British media.

According to the paper, unlike his earlier official visits during which Musharraf spoke at the leading British think tanks and gatherings of the Pakistani diaspora in Britain, this time there will not be any detailed engagements although there is talk of him speaking at a think tank or a British university.

The three best known British think thanks n the Chatham House, the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) do not have Pervez Musharraf on their agenda. RUSI, however, is discussing the unfolding instability in Kashmir on Monday with Musharrafs predecessor Jehangir Karamat as one of the main speakers.

The former president is staying in Richmond Hotel with Brigadier Niaz and will be leaving for the US later this week to spend a few days with his son Bilal, who now lives in San Francisco.

The former presidents deputy chief of security Major Sheharyar and his two security guards are also with him on the trip. Major Sheharyar opted to resign from the Army the day Pervez Musharraf stepped down from the office.

Meanwhile, the Army House, in Rawalpindi, is lying vacant now and no member of the former presidents family is staying there, as Musharrafs wife Begum Zarin and his mother are staying in Karachi these days with her granddaughter.

Earlier, Musharraf reached the Benazir Bhutto Airport on Sunday amid tight security arrangements as two cars and special guards escorted him to the airport. He used the executive lounge of the airport to board the plane. He was carrying four boxes of different sizes with him, which were loaded on the PIA commercial flight PK-785 after routine check, said the paper. (ANI)

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