ISLMABAD - General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s legal team on Friday presented the AFIC medical board’s report to the Special Court, showing that the former strongman has a coronary artery disease, including left main stem disease, which requires further examination and possible intervention (surgery).
The report’s presentation witnessed barbs exchanged between public prosecutors and Musharraf’s counsel in the court.
The carefully-drafted report also reads that though the country has adequate heart disease management and operation facilities, General (retd) has reserved the right to have his angiography and subsequent intervention (surgery/angioplasty/stenting) at a medical facility of his choice due to lack to advanced cardiac support system required in the event of sudden heart failure during such procedures/intervention.
However, the public prosecutors said the four-member Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology medical board, headed by Maj-Gen Syed Muhammad Imran Majeed, has not clearly replied to the questions asked by the Special Court regarding non-compliance with its order by the former army dictator on the pretext of his heart ailment.
One of the prosecutors told The Nation that it seemed the legal experts, and not the doctors, had drafted the report as the queries had not been directly answered. “The words have been used with due care,” he remarked.
The Special Court had asked the medical team to answer how precarious was the health condition of the accused (Musharraf), which restricted his movement and prevented him from attending the court; whether the accused had undergone any surgery or other medical procedure during his stay in the hospital or any surgery or medical procedure is planned to be undertaken and for how long the accused had been advised hospitalisation.
The doctors at the AFIC considered Musharraf’s disease “serious and unpredictable.”
“It can be quickly life-threatening in case of destabilisation, particularly under stress or during a coronary intervention. Such a destablisation can lead to a massive heart attack and be immediately fatal,” the report said.
The report suggests that a coronary angiogram is required urgently to ascertain the need for further interventions like coronary artery bypass graft surgery, to optimise the management.
The present AFIC report seemed to be the replica of its earlier report. The AFIC on January 7 submitted a report which, besides mentioning that Musharraf was suffering from nine diseases, said, “Coronary angiography is required to optimise the management and ascertain the possibility of further interventions like coronary artery bypass surgery.”
Public Prosecutor Akram Sheikh rejected the AFIC report and sought time to file a reply on the report. He asked the court that it should seek the opinion of top cardiologists of the country from Agha Khan, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Shifa International and other hospitals.
The leading cardiologists of the country question why Musharraf‘s angiography was not done in the last 20 days if his condition was so serious and destablisation could lead to a massive heart attack. They said that in Pakistan there were best medical facilities available for coronary angiography, angioplasty and cardiac surgery.
Akram Sheikh said the report had not answered the questions asked by the court. He said Musharraf had expressed no-confidence in his own institution (AFIC) and wanted to be treated abroad. He said if Musharraf was allowed to go abroad, then under Article 25 of the Constitution, all the accused with heart ailments be permitted to get treatment in the countries of their choice.
As the lead prosecutor was objecting to the report, Advocate Major (r) Akhtar Shah violated the decorum of the court and said loudly, addressing the public prosecutors: “I will pull out your tongue if you say anything against Pakistan, army generals and judiciary.” Akhtar claimed he was president of Pakistan Social Party. He came to the court in lawyers’ gear along with his daughter. He is neither part of Musharraf’s legal team nor has the court so far accepted the petition he has filed under Article 248 of the Constitution in favour of Musharraf.
Advocate Ahmed Raza Kasuri, who a few days ago called a journalist an Indian agent outside the Special Court, called the prosecutors Indian agents during the proceeding on Friday.
Akram Sheikh asked the court to take notice of the attitude of the defence counsel. Special Court Justice President Faisal Arab snubbed Kasuri and Akhtar Shah, directing them to maintain the court discipline. He said they had made the court battlefield, besides making fun of it. He further said so many days had passed and he thought emotions had died down, but it seemed they still persisted. Sharif-ud-Din Pirzada requested all to maintain calm, cordiality and dignity.
The court adjourned the hearing till Wednesday (January 29) when Anwar Mansoor, lead defence counsel, would give arguments on judges’ biasness and the constitution of the Special Court.
Monitoring adds: During Friday’s hearing of the treason case against former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, the special court in the federal capital ruled that the former president’s medical report would be subjected to cross examination on Jan 29 after which the court would announce its decision.