x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Musharraf demands bullet-proof protection ahead of Pakistan return

Pervez Musharraf makes security request ahead of his return to Pakistan later this month to contest the elections.

DUBAI // The former Pakistani president, Pervez Musharraf, has demanded a bulletproof car and increased security, days before he flies back to contest elections.

In a letter sent on Monday, he called on authorities to ensure sure he had adequate protection.

"He has simply asked for what he his entitled to under Pakistani law," said Khurram Haris, his press aide. "We have not had a response from the government yet but we are expecting a positive reply."

Mr Haris said there were security concerns with Mr Musharraf's planned return on Sunday.

"We have asked for a bulletproof car and guaranteed security for Mr Musharraf, in line with him being a former president of the country," he said.

Mr Haris admitted time was running out for the extra security to be in place but said his advisers had made contingency plans.

"We have made arrangements for our own private security made up of former Pakistani commandos but it is the responsibility of the government to make sure he is safe," he said.

Mr Musharraf has been warned that he faces arrest upon his return over allegations that he did not provide enough security for the assassinated prime minister, Benazir Bhutto.

He came to power in a military coup in 1999. He was president from 2001 to 2008 and has since been in self-imposed exile.

nhanif@thenational.ae