ISLAMABAD: Qaisar Naqvi, 45, breathed his last in the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) while his family was kept outside the health facility due to security measures taken to protect former military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf, who has been undergoing treatment at the hospital.
His wife, children and other family members requested the AFIC administration to let them proceed to the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) of the military-run hospital to meet him in his last moments, but no heed was paid to their request.
The family of Qaisar Naqvi lodged complaints with the military authorities, after which action was taken against two senior officials, with one of them being transferred.
“The whole family was outside when Qaisar breathed his last,” a close relative of the man told Dawn on condition of anonymity.
The former military dictator was admitted to the AFIC on Jan 3 when he was on his way to a special court set up for his high treason trial for abrogating the constitution and detaining judges in 2007. However, the general’s convoy took a now famous detour to the hospital in Rawalpindi when he suddenly started suffering from chest pain.
Musharraf’s presence triggered massive gridlock in the cantonment and garrison areas and about 70 troops, equipped with latest weapons, were deployed inside the hospital building and even on the rooftops to cope with any security threat.
Unconcerned persons and even the attendants of admitted patients were not allowed to enter the hospital thereafter.
Musharraf has been in the hospital for over two weeks but despite Mr Naqvi’s incident, patients and their attendants are still complaining about security barriers at the AFIC, which are hampering access to the facility.
Many attempts were made to contact the AFIC administration to get the hospital’s official statement on the issue, but all proved to be in vain. It was learnt that there is no official spokesman for the hospital and officers and doctors have been barred from giving any statement to the media.
Family members of Mr Naqvi, who served in a bank in Rawalpindi’s cantonment area, said he complained about chest pain while at work on the same day when Gen Musharraf was admitted to the AFIC.
“First, Naqvi’s colleagues took him to Cantonment Hospital where doctors said he had high blood pressure and suggested he be taken to AFIC,” his relative said.Mr Naqvi’s colleagues then took him to the AFIC and informed his family. On reaching the hospital he was taken inside by the paramedical staff, but other people were not allowed to enter the AFIC building due to security measures put in place for the former president.
Family members of Mr Naqvi rushed to the hospital but were not allowed to enter the facility. Later, the elder brother of the patient managed to proceed into the facility but Mr Naqvi died before his brother could reach him.
Family sources said Mr Naqvi was not a heart patient and it was the first attack he had suffered. He leaves behind his wife, a school-going daughter and a son.