Musharraf seeks court nod to go abroad for heart treatment

Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who has heart trouble and needs an angiography, is unwilling to undergo treatment in Pakistan and instead wants to fly abroad for treatment, his lawyers told a special court in Islamabad hearing a case against him for high treason for declaring emergency rule in November 2007.

The medical report of the retired general was produced on Friday before the court. The report states that Musharraf needs to undergo angiography immediately, but the patient has not given his consent to undergo the life-saving surgery in Pakistan. Instead, he wants to go abroad to a facility of his choice.

According to the report, that despite adequate facilities available in Pakistan, there is a lack of an advanced cardiac support system.

The disease is considered to be serious and unpredictable. It can be life-threatening in event of destabilisation particularly under stress, the report added.

The former president is a patient at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi, just outside Islamabad. He was taken there after suffering a ''heart problem'' on the way to court 2 January after failing to appear at previous proceedings.

Earlier during proceedings, registrar Abdul Ghani Soomro handed over the sealed medical report of Musharraf prepared by doctors of the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) to the judges.

The former president's counsel Anwar Mansoor requested the court to keep the content of his client's report private. However, the court ordered for the provision of the report to the prosecutor and defence lawyer for scrutiny.

Chief prosecutor Akram Shaikh said that Musharraf had claimed himself to be a public figure and the law had different provisions for public figures and private persons. Justice Arab then remarked that the judges needed to review the report first.

The special court on 16 January had ordered the formation of a medical board comprising senior doctors of the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) for ascertaining the health of Musharraf and had directed that the medical board should submit its report by 24 January.