Half way to the special court where he is being tried for treason, former Pakistan president General Pervez Musharraf suffered ‘severe heart attack’ and was instead rushed to a military hospital in nearby Rawalpindi on Thursday, leaving the court and the prosecution lawyers fuming but unable to do much.
On Wednesday, the judge hearing the case had threatened Musharraf with arrest if he did not appear on the next day.
This is the fourth time Musharraf has not appeared in court, in which is seen as one of the most high profile trials being conducted in the country. Earlier, Musharraf’s lawyers informed the court their client could not make an appearance on security grounds as explosive devices were discovered on the route that the former Pakistan strongman was to take to the court, which is housed in Islamabad’s National Library complex.
Doctors remained tight-lipped about the condition of the former president. But when journalists asked Musharraf’s lawyer about his sudden sickness, the lawyer challenged them to talk to the doctors who had advised the detour.
The former military ruler faces treason charges under Article 6 for suspending, subverting and abrogating the Constitution, imposing an emergency in the country in November 2007 and detaining judges of the superior courts.
Meanwhile, in the court, lawyers exchanged threats and accusations over their personal safety. Jan Mohammad, a senior police official, had earlier told the court in Islamabad that Musharraf had fallen ill while being transported to the hearing under heavy security. A member of Musharraf’s legal team, Anwar Mansoor, said that he was receiving threats from the present government.
Senior counsel for Musharraf, Sharifuddin Pirzada, added that the prosecutor, Akram Shaikh, had personally threatened him. Musharraf’s lawyers then staged a walk out from the court saying that they had never received such threats in the past in any case.