A lawyer for Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf who is on trial for high treason said Thursday his client needs to go to the US for further medical treatment following a heart scare.
The development is the latest legal twist in a series of legal cases Musharraf has faced since returning to the country nearly a year ago. It came as the former president and retired general failed yet another time to appear in court for a hearing.
The attorney, Anwar Mansoor Khan, said a doctor in the US who has treated Musharraf in the past has advised that he be transferred to the US following recent heart problems.
Musharraf’s legal drama has also become a tug-of-war of sorts between the military establishment and the courts. It is threatening to undermine the fragile balance of power between the civilian-led government and the powerful military in a country where the military has often called the shots.
Musharraf’s repeated failure to appear in court and his admission to the hospital — where he was taken January 2 while on his way to a court hearing — has led to rampant speculation that he’ll leave the country under the guise of seeking medical treatment.
Khan, one of Musharraf’s defense lawyers, submitted a letter to the court from a doctor at the Paris Regional Medical Center in Paris, Texas. The letter, signed by the Director of Interventional Cardiology at the Texas center, Arjumand Hashmi, asked that Musharraf be transferred to the hospital.
Musharraf is currently a patient at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi. He was taken there after suffering a “heart problem” on the way to court after failing to appear at previous court proceedings. The court subsequently reviewed a medical report from the hospital outlining his condition and ruled last week that he was to appear in court Thursday.