Lahore: Former President Pervez Musharraf, currently living in self-exile in Britain and Dubai, has contacted two foreign agencies based in the US and UK for providing security to him following his planned return to Pakistan early next year.

Musharraf has convened a meeting of officials of his party, the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), from Pakistan, the US, Canada and Britain in Dubai on September 18 at which he will give final shape to his proposed homecoming and other matters, sources close to the former military ruler said.

Though Musharraf has announced that he will return to Pakistan on March 23 next year, some officials of his party are expected to ask him at Sunday’s meeting to review the situation in the country before making a final decision, the sources said.

"Mr Musharraf is keen to return home no matter what may come. For this purpose, he is finalising his security arrangements in Pakistan with two security agencies from the US and UK," said APML spokesman Fawad Chaudhry.

Chaudhry said the Army too will provide Musharraf foolproof security.

"However, the APML will not take any chances with regard to the security of its leader," he said.

Musharraf will also consult party officials about his plan to make Dubai the APML's headquarters till his return to Pakistan. "Mr Musharraf is considering shifting to Dubai from next month to look after party affairs from there," Chaudhry said.

Some members of the APML believe that court cases against Musharraf are the main hurdle to his plans to return to Pakistan.

However, in the hope of settling some of the cases before his likely return, Musharraf's wife Sehba plans to challenge an anti-terrorism court's decision against the former President soon.

The anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi last month ordered the seizure of Musharraf's moveable and immoveable assets and the freezing of his bank accounts while declaring him a fugitive for failing to cooperate with investigators probing the 2007 assassination of former Premier Benazir Bhutto.

"Begum Musharraf is going to file a petition against the anti-terrorism court's order as the APML has unanimously decided that its head should face all the cases in Pakistan so that no case is pending against him on his return," Chaudhry said.

(Agencies)