According to The Times of India, a man stood up about five minutes after Musharraf started speaking and hurled a shoe at him. A private television news channel reports that the shoe did not reach the stage on which the former president was standing and landed in the front row.
Musharraf was speaking at an event for his supporters organised by the All Pakistan Muslim League, the new political party created by the former military dictator to contest in electoral politics in Pakistan. The meeting was being held in the Walthamstow area of London, an area with a substantial population of people of Pakistani origin. About 1,500 people were in attendance.
The man who threw the shoe was quickly removed from the event by security personnel. The man’s identity is unclear at this stage, as is the motivation for his outburst.
He was not alone in protesting the former president, however. The Times of India reports that at least two other people also protested at the event.
Musharraf ruled Pakistan for nine years after taking power in a bloodless coup in 1999. He stepped down in 2008 and left Pakistan. He now lives in London.
The detained man raised slogans in favour of Afia Siddiqui, who is presently in US detention. Siddiqui, a US-educated Pakistani woman, has been found guilty of trying to kill American servicemen in Afghanistan.
An Iraqi journalist Muntazar al Zaidi threw his shoes at then US president George Bush, sparking a string of copy-cat attacks.
Later, shoes were tossed at Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. (IANS)