RAWALPINDI: Former military strongman retired Gen Pervez Musharraf was taken to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) on Thursday when he complained of chest pain on his way to a special court hearing a treason case against him.

A senior official at the AFIC told Dawn that the former president had been brought to the emergency ward. His heartbeat was not normal and after some tests he was shifted to the Cardiac Care Unit-2 to keep him under observation. Otherwise, the official said, his condition was stable.

He said doctors did not suggest angiography till late in the night. “The patient has been shifted to the CCU to keep him under observation and for precautionary measures. Otherwise, Mr Musharraf is fit,” the official said, adding that all necessary tests had been conducted and no sign of minor heart attack was found.

When this reporter tried to contact AFIC Commandant Maj Gen S.M. Imran Majeed, his staff said he was still at the CCU and they were not allowed to give detail to the media.

No official statement was issued by the army-run hospital about the condition of the former military ruler.

When contacted, Musharraf’s personal physician and former AFIC commandant retired Maj Gen Azhar Kiani said it was not necessary that a patient might complain of heart attack. “Sometimes a silent attack occurs and the patient is kept under observation. Maybe this was the condition of Gen Musharraf,” he said, adding that the former president was not suffering from diabetics, blood pressure or even hyper tension as he had recently gone through all tests and these were clear.

“Apparently, Gen Musharraf is physically fit as he got off his bullet-proof vehicle and walked to a stretcher brought for him and then he was rushed to the emergency ward,” Mohammad Jamil, an onlooker outside the emergency department, told to Dawn.

He said he had seen the former president’s side posture and he appeared to be fresh. “There were no symptoms of sweating and his face was not pale when I saw him on the stretcher,” he said.

Mr Jamil said that before the arrival of Gen Musharraf, the hospital administration vacated the attendants’ room outside the emergency ward and army personnel took over the premises.

“Luckily, I was there for my mother’s angiography and saw all the scenes,” he said, adding that the administration had forced all attendants to leave the place for security of the former army chief.

After the arrival of Gen Musharraf in the hospital, the premises became a no-go area for patients and attendants. Heavily armed military personnel were deployed in and around the hospital and police alerted in the city.

Earlier, roads along the Military Hospital and AFIC were closed for traffic. However, these were opened in the evening.

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