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Musharraf in AFIC... By Col.(r) Riaz

10 February, 2014

Not many know of the implications involved in Musharraf's overstaying in the AFIC and they keep offering all kinds of their most knowledgeable (read nave) comments and opinions about it.

Let's take a look at it from the very beginning. After the discovery of road side planted IEDs just close to Musharraf's farm house on two consecutive days, ostensibly to kill him, strict security arrangements were ensured by the authorities for taking him safely from Chak Shahzad to the Special Tribunal Court. On that day he was under a heavy escort and a senior responsible officer whether from the FIA, Police or some other agency must have been travelling in the same vehicle that carried Musharraf. The task assigned to this officer could ONLY be to ensure Musharraf's safe custody and delivery at the court. Now if Musharraf is suddenly taken ill enroute this officer simply CANNOT either on his own or on the asking of Musharraf divert the vehicle to somewhere else.

No, Sir, no way. He has to inform his superior officers and someone high up has to permit him to divert the vehicle from its assigned route. Who could that be except the highest person in the Interior ministry? And, incidentally, this fact was publicly admitted by Ch. Nisar Ali Minister for Interior himself. Now regarding the AFIC, no officer, doctor or surgeon over there can detain (retain) a patient for treatment/examination etc. except for the doctor or the board of doctors attending upon him. If he/they think that the patient needs no more hospitalization he would be discharged. The only other person who can allow him to stay in the hospital is the Commandant of the AFIC, which he would not normally do on some flimsy excuse or personal grounds. He has to have orders from his superiors to keep him there. Now who could order him for that? Army hospitals come under various HQs and commands for administrative purposes. For example; CMH and MH Rawalpindi come under the Log Area Rawalpindi, but only for administrative and disciplinary purposes and not medically. Even within the CMHs various specialists though do come under the Officer Commanding CMH but yet not "professionally", where the final word on medication is that of the respective specialist only be he/she the Eye Specialist, ENT, Physician or the Surgeon.

At the GHQ level, only the Surgeon General of the Pakistan Army - a three star PSO at the GHQ - has some say in budgetary and carrier related matters of the medical officers and hospital establishments but even he cannot order retention or discharge of ANY patient from any army hospital. This Surgeon General is one of the PSOs and administratively like any other directorate in the GHQ the CGS co-ordinates working of his directorate also. But can the CGS ask him to order retention or discharge of a patient in any army hospital? No, he cannot. Can the COAS ask him for that? Ethically not. On the quiet, may be. But will the CAOS do it? Any body's guess. And, if he does so he will do it in his personal capacity. And now the million dollar question, will his such act be said to have the backing of the ENTIRE army? Again any body's guess! But most probably he SHALL enjoy the blessings of the most.

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

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