Former PakistanPresident Pervez Musharraf was rushed to hospital Thursday after suffering a “heart problem” on his way to court, in the latest dramatic twist in his treason trial.
The 70-year-old had been summoned to the special tribunal in Islamabad after failing to show up for two previous sessions due to security threats against him.
Musharraf’s team says the allegations, which relate to his imposition of emergency rule in November 2007, are politically motivated and his lawyers have challenged the authority of the three-judge tribunal.
As the general underwent tests at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi, the garrison city neighboring Islamabad, a source from his camp said efforts were under way to fly him out of Pakistan.
This will rekindle long-running rumors of a deal to whisk him away from Pakistan to avoid a destabilizing clash between the government, which brought the charges, and the powerful armed forces.
Jan Mohammad, a senior police official, told the treason court in Islamabad that Musharraf had fallen ill with a “heart problem” while being transported to the hearing under heavy guard.
Security was tight at the hospital in Rawalpindi, AFP reports, with soldiers and paramilitary Rangers standing guard.
An aide to Musharraf, who is facing a series of criminal cases dating back to his 1999-2008 rule, told AFP the retired general was in “bad shape.”
His spokesman Raza Bokhari said in an emailed statement that Musharraf was conscious and “oriented in time and space” and was being examined by military doctors.
His wife has arrived at the hospital and his daughter is on her way from Karachi, a source said. A doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity said he was in a stable condition.