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Musharraf's wife house hunting in the US

Musharraf's wife house hunting in the US

Author: Onkar Singh in Delhi
Publication: Rediff on Net
Date: November 28, 2001

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf appears to be making contingency plans in the event of the situation in his country getting out of his hand and his ouster seems imminent.

Pakistan's decision to extend support to the United States in its campaign against terrorism has not gone down well with fundamentalists in the country who have been stridently opposing the government stand.

Musharraf seems to have zeroed on the United States as a possible safe haven for him and his family in case the situation gets out of hand. In this context, his wife has been house hunting in the US.

According to Indian intelligence sources, Begum Sehba Musharraf was shown a couple of houses in Washington by senior US administration officials during a private visit in the third week of November.

Incidentally, it was her second trip within a month.

Earlier, she had accompanied her husband when he had gone to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly.

Besides Washington, Begum Musharraf has also seen some houses in New York and other important cities in the USA.

The sources, however, refused to confirm if the house was part of the deal that Musharraf struck for providing permission to US aircraft to fly over Pakistani air space for bombing Afghanistan.

The sources also said that more then 1000 Taleban militia men were seen at various camps in Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK) awaiting an opportune moment to cross the Indian border into Jammu and Kashmir.

"Some Afghans have been seen in the valley in the last few weeks. Budgam area near Srinagar is one of the areas where they were sighted," an intelligence official told rediff.com.

He did not rule out the possibility of Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden seeking shelter in PoK, though it would be difficult for him to reach PoK given the massive search operations launched by the US.

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