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‘Past events no bar’ to Musharraf’s return, says Asif

‘Past events no bar’ to Musharraf’s return, says Asif

KARACHI: Striking a reconciliatory note, PML-N leader Khawaja Asif said that events of the past should not bar former general Pervez Musharraf, whose health is said to be deteriorating, from returning to the country.

Mr Asif, who is also the country’s defence minister, took to Twitter after news emerged that the former army chief-turned-chief executive was severely ill. Some outlets and social media users had even speculated about his possible demise.

But while the family confirmed that he was still alive and not on a ventilator, a statement released on Saturday through the former president’s Twitter account said he had been hospitalised for the last three weeks.

Mr Asif, whose party’s democratically elected government was removed from power and its leadership sent into exile when Musharraf seized power in a 1999 coup, tweeted: “There should be no barriers to Gen Musharraf’s return to the country on account of his ill health. Events of the past should not be a bar in this process.”

The retired general’s illness came to light in 2018 when the All Pakistan Muslim League announced that he was suffering from the rare disease amyloidosis.

Family sources earlier told Dawn that he is “going through a difficult stage, where recovery from his ailment is not possible and his organs are malfunctioning”.

Amyloidosis refers to the name of a group of rare, serious conditions caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid in organs and tissues throughout the body. The build-up of amyloid proteins (deposits) can make it difficult for the organs and tissues to work properly.

Mr Musharraf ruled the country from 1999 to 2008. On March 30, 2014, he was indicted for suspending the Constitution, while in Dec 2019, a special court handed him the death sentence in the high treason case against him.

The former military ruler left the country in March 2016 for Dubai to seek medical treatment and hasn’t returned since.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2022