London, Feb.18 : Close aides of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf sought to soften and brainwash Jemima Khan, the divorced wife of Imran Khan, ahead of her 30-minute interview with the President.
According to Jemima, the interview took place at the Camp Office in Rawalpindi, which used to be the headquarters of the Northern Command under the British.
Describing the place, she writes in The Independent that the building had delicately carved, wooden, double-height ceilings, sweeping central staircase, marble floors and ornate carpets, and it was not hard to see why Musharraf chose it as his private office in Rawalpindi. His residence too was just up the driveway, she added.
She said that about a dozen straight-backed men in uniform - red waistcoats over starched cream kurtas greeted her, and that she was immediately informed that the President was not quite ready.
She said that she was taken to the staff office for a "tea break" with Musharraf's personal assistant, a dashing, grey-haired, light-eyed naval commander, and a jovial head of security, also a young army officer, who joked that the delay was just an excuse for them to do a little preparatory brainwashing.
A bright yellow cake, some intimidating-looking chicken vol-au-vents and chai (milky tea) were wheeled in.
She said that Major General Qureshi, Musharraf's Alastair Campbell, tuckeds in happily and regaled her for an hour with stories about Soviet-era Pakistani military triumphs and the magnanimity and general excellence of his boss.
"Any country in the world would like to have this person as their leader," he said proudly.
And then, she was ushered into Musharraf's presence for the interview.