Pakistan's Musharraf given OK to leave for treatment despite treason charge

By Marilyn Malara   |   March 18, 2016 at 10:15 AM
| License Photo

KARACHI, Pakistan, March 18 (UPI) -- Pakistan's former President, Pervez Musharraf, has left for Dubai to receive medical treatment after being removed from a no-fly list for the first time since 2013.

The retired general, 72, departed on a private plane Friday and is expected to remain in the United Arab Emirates for a week before traveling to either the United States or Britain for possible surgery. Musharraf reportedly experiences severe leg and back pain.

Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan announced Musharraf's freedom to travel for medical purposes Thursday, denying having enacted any "secret deals" due to the politician's legal status. He said the former leader of Pakistan will return in "four to six weeks."

A member of the All Pakistan Muslim League, Musharraf is facing trail for several charges including treason linked to events from his rule, including the suspension of Pakistan's Constitution. He was placed on the country's no-fly list in April 2013.

Despite officials assuring Musharraf's trip is solely to seek medical care -- and that he will return -- the former president has jumpstarted on his political affairs while abroad, according to Pakistan's Geo News. The outlet reported Musharraf planned to hold an APML chapter meeting as soon as he arrived in the UAE.

Ahead of his departure, Musharraf promised he will return to face trial.

"I am a commando and I love my homeland. I will come back in a few weeks or months," he told Dawn News.

Chairman of the Pakistan's People's Party, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari -- criticized the government's decision to allow Musharraf's travel on Twitter.

"SMBB [Benazir Bhutto] deprived him from his real power: his uniform.AZ threw him out of Presidency.What did you do? Set him free?!?" Bhutto-Zardari wrote Thursday.

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