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Musharraf stable at AFIC; medical reports sent to UK

04 January, 2014

RAWALPINDI: Doctors will decide whether former military ruler Pervez Musharraf must go abroad for treatment "after suffering a heart problem" on the way to his treason trial, his lawyer said Friday.

The 70-year-old was taken ill and rushed to a military hospital on Thursday as he was being transported under heavy guard to hear treason charges against him at a special tribunal in Islamabad. He spent a second day in the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi on Friday and his lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri told reporters he was in a stable condition in the intensive care unit. The sudden health scare was met with scepticism from some observers and feverish media speculation that his departure from Pakistan on medical grounds could be imminent.

He is the first Pakistani army chief to go on trial and there have been rumours for months that he would be spirited out of the country before facing the courts, to head off a potentially destabilising clash between the government and the military. Musharraf, who faces a number of criminal cases dating back to his 1999-2008 rule, is under a travel ban and ministers have repeatedly said they will not lift it.

Asked about the possibility of Musharraf going abroad for medical treatment, Kasuri said: "Doctors' opinion will be final and the court is bound to follow it." Kasuri said Musharraf's legal team expected to receive a report on his condition before the next court hearing on Monday.

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