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Pervez Musharraf may visit India this month

Source: PTI
January 03, 2009 15:44 IST
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Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf might visit India along with other countries this month to deliver guest lectures.

Musharraf's lecture tour of foreign countries, including India, had been firmed up before the Mumbai terror attacks in November, a source close to the former military ruler told The News daily. Musharraf is expected to start the tour with his first lecture in the US on January 14, the paper reported.

He will also visit some European countries, Hong Kong and China. Musharraf intends to raise funds for his future political activities from the lucrative lecture, sources said.

The former president is reportedly waiting for the end of a two-year bar on entering politics. Constitutional expert S M Zafar said that according to existing regulations, Musharraf cannot participate in politics for two years from November 28, 2007 -- the day he stepped down as army chief.

Sources said Musharraf was currently not involved in any political activities. He was waiting for November 27 this year when there would not be any legal inhibitions on his joining politics, they said.

"We admit that Musharraf plans to join politics on the expiry of the two-year constitutional ban, but not right now," said a close confidant of the former President.

There is also speculation that Musharraf has selected three close aides -- lawyer Muhammad Ali Saif, Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani and Alia Malik -- to launch political activities on his behalf. The former President has reportedly purchased a multi-million home in the heart of Islamabad to be used as an office by the trio.

However, Musharraf is believed to have developed serious differences with two top leaders of the opposition PML-Q party, which supported him when he was in power. PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain reportedly gave Musharraf the cold shoulder when they met last week at the wedding of the son of former Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri in Lahore.

Musharraf has kept a low profile since he quit as President in August last year to avoid facing impeachment by the Pakistan People's Party-led government. He recently made his first foreign visit to Britain after resigning as President.

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