A petition seeking to restrain hospitalised former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf from travelling abroad for treatment was filed in a court here on Friday by the son of a slain cleric of the radical Lal Masjid.
Haroon Rasheed,son of cleric Abdul Rasheed,asked the Islamabad High Court to instruct the Interior Ministry to provide Musharraf with the best medical facilities in the country and bar him from exiting Pakistan.
The petition said 70-year-old Musharraf had several criminal cases pending against him,including one relating to the alleged murder of Rasheed.
The cleric was killed when army troops stormed the Lal Masjid here to flush out extremists holed up in the mosque in 2007.
Speculation is rife about a possible exit plan to send Musharraf abroad for treatment.
Musharraf was rushed to a military hospital in Rawalpindi after suffering a “heart attack” while he was on his way to a special court yesterday to face high treason charges.
Since the news of Musharraf’s hospitalisation,speculation is rife that he is seeking avenues to exit the country and the arrival of the Saudi Foreign Minister next week has been linked to the issue.
Other skeptics believe that he is avoiding the embarrassment of appearing before a civilian court.
An active swimmer and former commando,Musharraf is not publicly known to have had any heart problems.
The timing of the health scare immediately sparked accusations that Musharraf was ducking his trial,Dawn News reported.
Musharraf’s spokesman Raza Bokhari said he was conscious and “oriented in time and space” and being examined by military doctors.
The court had on Thursday granted Musharraf exemption from appearing before it for the day and ruled against an arrest warrant in the wake of his health problems.
The court had earlier ordered Musharraf to appear before it and warned of issuing an arrest warrant for him in case he failed to appear.
The order had come after Musharraf missed two earlier hearings,citing security concerns after explosives were found near his residence.
Musharraf’s condition ‘static but not dangerous’: Lawyer
Pervez Musharraf’s condition is “static but not dangerous”,his lawyer said on Friday amidst reports that the former Pakistani military ruler would require an angioplasty or by-pass surgery as three vessels in his heart are blocked.
“His condition remains static but not dangerous,” Ahmed Raza Kasuri,a key member of Musharraf’s legal team,told reporters outside the military hospital in Rawalpindi where he is being treated.
In comments aired live on TV,he said 70-year-old Musharraf was “under stress”. Asked what exactly had happened to Musharraf,he said he would not like to go into details.
Kasuri said,”He was on his way to the special court when he suddenly had a depression,heart sink hone laga (his heart started sinking).”
Musharraf was taken to hospital after he fell ill while travelling to the special court on Thursday to face charges of high treason for imposing emergency in 2007.
The legal team is expected to get Musharraf’s medical reports by Sunday evening and they would be presented in the special court on Monday,Kasuri said.
Dawn News quoted its sources as saying that three vessels in Musharraf’s heart “are blocked and he would either require an angioplasty or a heart by-pass”.
The possibility of his treatment in Dubai or London was being considered,the report added.
The sources said Musharraf was being administered blood thinning medication. They said he had experienced extreme mental stress which led to chest pains and his current medical condition.
So far,no statement has been issued by the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology about Musharraf’s condition.
Aasia Ishaque,spokesperson of Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party,said on Thursday he had suffered a “severe heart attack”. She said Musharraf was not feeling well since Wednesday night and doctors who visited his farmhouse gave him medicines and advised bed rest.
Musharraf is the first general to face trial for treason.
If convicted,he could get life imprisonment or the death penalty.