After stepping down as President of Pakistan, Musharraf vociferously denied he had plans to leave the country and settle down in London, the destinations most Pakistani politicians head for when things get uncomfortable at home.But Musharraf has reportedly bought himself a flat in one of the posh areas of central London. However, it is not known whether this is a permanent move.
His stay in the city came into notice when there was a heated debate in the House of Lords over the security provided to him. Musharraf has been moving, protected by at least six guards — allegedly Scotland Yard officers — in a country when even the senior most ministers don’t get any security.
“If he is getting that kind of security, I’d like to know why and who is paying for it,” said Lord Nazir Ahmed, House of Lords.
Acquired reportedly for nearly a million and a half pounds, Musharraf has company in the form of Shaukat Aziz, Rehman Malik, Tony Blair, all of whom live in this posh neighbourhood close to Edgeware Road.
From all accounts Musharraf is enjoying the cultural events a summer in London has to offer, even accepting occasional invitations to speak at public events.
“It’s a history of Third World dictators to plunder their countries and when the going gets hot, to move to settle comfortably in the West,” said cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan.
The British government will have to answer questions about Musharraf’s security arrangements in the next two weeks time.