WASHINGTON, Sept 24: President Gen. Pervez Musharraf underwent routine testing with his doctor on Saturday during an unannounced visit to a small Texas town, Ambassador Mahmud Ali Durrani told Dawn.
“He has a friend in a town called Paris in Texas who is a cardiologist. This friend had asked him to have his heart checked, a routine test that everyone in his 50s or 60s should have,” the ambassador said. President Musharraf is 63.
“He was tested and is fit as a horse. I spoke with him after the test. He also attended a function later in the evening. I called this (Sunday) morning too and he was sleeping,” Ambassador Durrani said.
“He did not go for a test because he had a problem. He went because a friend, who happens to be a cardiologist, had asked him to do it and he did.”
Since the trip to this small town in rural Texas was unannounced and came a day after his meeting with President Bush in Washington, it triggered a rumour that the president was not well and that President Bush had arranged for him to see a doctor in a small town of his native Texas, away from the attention of the media.
Ambassador Durrani said he was aware of the rumours circulating in the US and in Pakistan where some people linked this to a power outage and started saying that there has been a change of government in Islamabad.
“Absolutely wrong, there’s no basis to such rumours,” said the ambassador. “There’s some fault in Ghazi-Barotha which tripped the entire system. That’s all. There’s nothing else to it,” he said.
A local newspaper – The Paris News – reported in Saturday’s online edition that after leaving the hospital, President Musharraf attended a private luncheon in the small town about 105 miles northeast of Dallas.
In a brief interview with the newspaper, Gen. Musharraf said his meeting with President Bush was “extremely positive”.