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'Musharraf not to return to Pak for now'

world Updated: Jul 27, 2009 13:56 IST

PTI
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With his tenure as President of Pakistan coming up for scrutiny by the country's highest court, Pervez Musharraf has put off his return here from London for the time being as advised by his close aides.

Musharraf, who had consulted legal luminaries to represent him in the Supreme Court in his defence, has made a sudden about turn to defer his return to Pakistan, fuelling speculation whether he would come back to the country to face trial.

The Supreme Court had last week asked Muhsarraf to appear before it and explain his action of imposing Emergency in 2007 and sacking of 60 judges, including Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhary.

The News reported today that Musharraf was advised by his aides to delay his return as they feel that his adversaries may drag him to court on various counts and also because some extremist groups have become active in the wake of speculation regarding his coming back to Pakistan.

The former army chief has been consulting his aides, including legal experts and serving and retired military personnel, since the Supreme Court issued the notice asking him to explain his actions at a hearing scheduled for July 29. It is not binding for Musharraf to appear personally in court and he has hired lawyers to represent him.

A petition is likely to be submitted by one of his counsel before the Supreme Court seeking the adjournment of the matter so that Musharraf can study the case, the report said.

Musharraf has not been classified as a defendant or witness in the matter but his status could be altered once the proceedings get underway in the apex court.

A close associate of the former president has revealed that he has been provided an additional four sleuths by Scotland Yard immediately after some political leaders in London threatened him.

The former military ruler has planned to deliver lectures at some European universities in the next four weeks.

He could change his plan due to fears of protests.

Sources close to Musharraf claim that he has no problem in staying on in London where he has purchased a flat.

In case he faces difficulty in living in London, Musharraf could move to California where his son Bilal lives. It is yet to be determined how the US administration would react to any move by Musharraf to enter the country.

Musharraf could also shift to Chicago, where his brother lives. Sources said Musharraf would decide about his future course of action in September and till then would avoid returning to Pakistan.

He is in constant touch with his aides and could seek their advice before making any final decision on returning home.

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