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Faced with treason charges: Musharraf makes ‘personal request’ for travel abroad

Faced with treason charges: Musharraf makes ‘personal request’ for travel abroad



ISLAMABAD: 

Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has submitted an application – written in first person – to the special court, seeking permission to travel abroad for his own treatment as well as to attend to his ailing mother.

Musharraf himself filed the five-page application to the three-judge court which was constituted to try him for treason. However, the former president gave an assurance that he would be back whenever the court required him.

“I returned to Pakistan when [there were] cases pending against me [even though] I could have avoided confronting them. Similarly, I would be back whenever required as I have decided to clear my name from all allegations,” he says in the application – a copy of which was made available to The Express Tribune.

Musharraf also states that his mother is 94 years old, residing in Dubai and she is suffering from a number of serious ailments. “She has been in and out of the hospital and is under constant medical supervision. I consider it imperative to see her and ensure that she is being properly looked after.”

Reiterating the opinion of his doctor, Arjumand Hashmi, in his plea, Musharraf said although the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) is one of the best cardiac facilities in the country but one ‘naturally’ feels secure and satisfied if one is allowed to choose his own doctor.

“My father, who suffered from this very disease, had problems during angiography in the AFIC and subsequently expired in the health facility. Naturally, this also has a psychological bearing on one’s thought process,” he states.

He referred to the observations made by the media and some lawyers during his recent court appearance, saying that though he ‘looks fit’, his health condition is critical. There is a major chance of complications arising during the angiography, he adds.

“I have also been communicated the fact that when calcification (accumulation of calcium salts in a body tissue) occurs in the vessels, especially the main stem, the procedure is even more difficult and could become complicated, requiring immediate surgery.”

Musharraf maintains that he is not ready to take a risk with anyone but his own doctor.

“This is not a new phenomenon. We do recall former president Asif Ali Zardari going to England for an angiography and calling his doctor from the USA when the AFIC was put on standby. The present prime minister went abroad for a minor intervention and things went bad there, but because of the advance life-saving equipment, he was saved.”

Musharraf contends that no case was registered against him post-retirement when he was in the country. But later, under a well-orchestrated plan, he was named in a number of cases. “As I was abroad, the courts declared me a proclaimed offender, my property was seized, my account was frozen and red warrants issued against me. Interpol must have evaluated that there was a campaign of victimisation against me, which is why they did not oblige the government of Pakistan.”

He alleges that he was denied even the basic right of bail, for which he was made to run from pillar to post for more than eight months.

“My health remains a major issue and [is] my priority […] all these stressful events over the last one year were bound to take a toll. I fell ill while I was on my way to the special court. Since then, I am under coronary care in the AFIC. My cardiologist, who maintains my medical history, is renowned doctor in Texas, USA. He is concerned as much as I am that I should be immediately examined by him so that he can evaluate on the basis of my medical history,” pleads the former military ruler.

However, he insists that he is and will continue to contest the high treason case even if he is not in the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2014.