Former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf is "growing weaker rapidly" due to an unspecified illness and so cannot return to Pakistan to face the treason case against him just yet, according to All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) leader Dr Muhammad Amjad.
On March 31, 2014, the former dictator was indicted for suspending the Constitution on Nov 3, 2007. He, however, left the country in March 2016, for Dubai to "seek medical treatment" and hasn't returned since.
Musharraf has since been declared a proclaimed offender, with a special court now considering ways to extradite him.
Dr Amjad, a former chairman of the political party Musharraf had formed, linked the former president's absence with a new ailment, which he said requires him to go to London for treatment every quarter.
"Pervez Musharraf had a fracture in his spine, for which he got treated in the USA," Dr Amjad told the media in a presser following a meeting of the APML central executive committee (CEC). "But nowadays he is being treated for a separate ailment. For this, he has to go to London after every three months.
"We cannot tell the nation about the ailment right now but we will tell the court about it and also present the ailment's documentation to the chief justice. Musharraf is growing weaker rapidly so we cannot put his life at risk."
Dr Amjad, who resigned as the APML chair last month, said that his client would return to Pakistan but on the guarantees that he would be given a free trial and also allowed to leave the country for treatment.
He said that the party tried to bring Musharraf back to the country before the July 25 general elections but "hurdles were created in his way".
Dr Amjad reiterated that Musharraf wants to appear before the court and is in consultation with his legal team to decide when and how to return.