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Musharraf to seek govt, army protection

ISLAMABAD: Former
president Pervez Musharraf s plans to return on Mar 23 are raising
concerns that he would immediately become a target of al-Qaeda and the
Taliban in Pakistan.

Spokesperson for the All-Pakistan Muslim
League, Fawad Chaudhry, confirmed that the most serious threat will be
from these organisations. We are in the process of forming a high-level
committee, which will coordinate with the Pakistani as well as the
international security agencies to make the best possible security
arrangements for Musharraf, who is expected to land either in Lahore,
Sukkur or Islamabad.

Musharraf prefers not to land in Karachi as it may give a wrong message that he is being welcomed by MQM, Fawad said.

It
was also learnt that the former president can also approach the
government as well as the Army for providing him adequate security on
his return.

The APML spokesman said that in accordance with the
Presidential Privileges Act the government and the Army are bound to
provide him complete security. In light of that, we will certainly
approach both, the government as well as the Army, for making adequate
security arrangements. This would also be a test case for the government
and the Army.

However, when approached the Inter-Service Public Relations refused to offer any comments on the matter.

Pervez
Musharraf, who is very cautious about his security and never puts faith
in un-tested and un-trustworthy people, prefers to hire his own highly
trained foreign commandos who are expected to accompany him on his
return to Pakistan.

On the other hand the former chief of the
Inter Service Intelligence, Gen. (Retd) Hameed Gul, when contacted, said
that now as Pervez Musharraf is no longer the part of the Army, just
like General Aslam Beg, General Jehangir Karamat, General Waheed Kakar
and others, who have all retired, are responsible for their own
security.

Army or any other government security institutions
are not officially responsible for their personal security. As such, on
his return, Pervez Musharraf should also be himself responsible for his
security and safety. So, neither the government nor the Army or any
other security agency would be ready to take the responsibility for his
safety and security in Pakistan, Gen (Retd) Hameed Gul said.

Senator
Mushahidullah Khan, of PML-N told The News that his party wishes that
Musharraf should return to his country so that he may know first hand
how the people of Pakistan feel about him.

My party is not
concerned as to who will provide security to Musharraf. However, if the
sitting government provided security to Musharraf, it would reveal the
truth behind the NRO (National Reconciliation Order). I am sure that
Musharraf will never return because there is no role for him to play
here now, Mushahidullah Khan told The News .

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