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Musharraf's treatment plan upto the court: Khawaja Asif

03 January, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif Thursday said that the government has not made any decision to send General (retd) Pervez Musharraf abroad and it is upto the court to decide in this regard.

Talking to private TV, the defence minister said that the government is well aware of the matters pertaining to Pervez Musharraf and so far no decision has made to send him abroad we have left this matter up to the court.

He said we have no personal conflict with the former president. He is a criminal of the nation. Politicians have always appeared before the court and showed their courage and now the nation has seen the real face of army dictators.

He said Pervez Musharraf should keep his promise to the nation and brave up and appear before the court and not run away.

Earlier Khawaja Asif called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and apprised the Prime Minister of the present power situation in the country.

According to sources the matter related to Pervez Musharraf also cropped up.

Sources said that Asif briefed the prime minister about the health of the former president.

The duo decided that the federal government would not interfere in the matter amid on-going treason case against the former military ruler, sources said.

The prime minister and the defence minister in their meeting agreed that the issue of Musharraf's travel abroad for medical treatment should be left for courts to decide, they added

Meanwhile, Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid says the special court, which is trying Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf on high treason charges and not the government, is competent to take any decision about him.

He was asked by our sources whether or not the government was considering allowing Musharraf to fly abroad for treatment of his disease that he was said to have faced en route to the special court from his Islamabad farmhouse on Thursday.

Musharraf developed the health problem just minutes after he left his residence in a cavalcade of high-powered jeeps amid unprecedented security measures taken on the Park Road. More than 1,000 policemen were deployed there as the government was determined to produce him before the court.

In the meantime, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif was quoted as saying that the government had made no decision to send Musharraf abroad.

Pervaiz Rashid prayed for the fast recovery of Musharraf from his ailment and said, "May Allah Almighty grant him normal health."

The minister said categorically, there was no pressure and had not been any pressure whatsoever on the government from any local or foreign quarters to show any concession to Musharraf or send him abroad. "No one has even slightly talked about it with the government with any recommendation."

He said it was misleading and unfounded to link in any way the forthcoming visit of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal taking place on January 6 to Pakistan with the cases being faced by Musharraf.

The record, Pervaiz Rashid said, would show and it can be verified that Saud Al Faisal met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Washington DC on November 24 during the latter's visit to the US.

He said the Saudi dignitary expressed his desire to visit Pakistan, after Nawaz Sharif assumed the top office, to discuss matters of mutual interest and strengthen the bilateral relations. Subsequently, Pakistan invited him for the trip that he accepted and is now paying the visit.

The information minister said that since the present government came to power six months ago, there was not a single foreign leader, diplomat or delegate who has discussed with it the criminal cases against Musharraf or asked for his safe exit from Pakistan.

At present, Musharraf is not under arrest as the three-member special court has not issued his warrants of arrest although its head Justice Faisal Arab has remarked that any police officer can apprehend him because he is not on bail. The bails of the former president in all the four criminal cases have already been approved by different courts. However, his name figures on the Exit Control List (ECL), according to the interior ministry.

Justice Arab has also stated that the special court has not issued the arrest warrants for Musharraf in view of the fact that he was the former president. Although, Musharraf did not attend the court on Thursday due to his sickness, the court decided not to issue his arrest warrants. It granted him just one-day exemption from appearance before it for Thursday.

Many people had been predicting unique developments or justification for non-production of Musharraf before the special court. They have been alluding to mysterious recoveries of explosive material close to Musharraf's farmhouse three times in nine days. And now his sudden ailment that he felt immediately after leaving his residence and before reaching the special court. Musharraf was quickly rushed to the military medical facility for treatment.

It would now depend on the findings of the panel of heart specialists at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), Rawalpindi, whether Musharraf could be treated in Pakistan or abroad. Most likely, the recommendation would be to send him to a foreign country for treatment so that the grave matter stands buried once and for all. The government's reaction will be interesting to watch in case the AFIC suggests Musharraf's departure abroad.

End.

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