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Pakistan Army chief Bajwa meets Pervez Musharraf in Dubai: Reports

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Islamabad, Jun 25: Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa recently visited the ailing former president and army chief Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf in Dubai, the media reported on Saturday.

Pakistan Army chief Bajwa meets Pervez Musharraf in Dubai: Reports

Gen Bajwa, accompanied by top physicians of the Pakistan Army, spent some time with Gen Musharraf and his family at their apartment in Dubai while the army doctors examined the 78-year-old former military ruler, The Express Tribune newspaper quoted a source, who was also present during the meeting, as saying.

The former military ruler was in 2018 in the UAE diagnosed with the life-threatening health condition called Amyloidosis. Amyloidosis is a group of rare and serious conditions that is caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein called amyloid in organs and tissues throughout the body, according to the UK’s National Health Service.

If left untreated, these protein deposits can lead to organ failure. According to the sources close to the former military ruler’s family, “Gen Musharraf and his family greeted the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) with great delight”. However, there was no official word on the COAS visit to Dubai from the military’s media wing.

The family of Musharraf, who has been living in self-exile in Dubai since 2016, has yet not made up their mind to fly him back to Pakistan. Earlier this week, the family ruled out the possibility citing lack of proper treatment in Pakistan.

“An uninterrupted supply and administration of experimental drug Daratumumab needed alongside associated treatment of Amyloidosis are currently not available in Pakistan,” the family wrote on Musharraf’s Twitter handle on June 21.

“It’s not easy to take a call on Musharraf's return from Dubai where he is undergoing treatment.” The family also revealed that they had been assured that the Pakistani government and the military establishment would facilitate the septuagenarian general’s smooth return.

“Communications have been received from official and unofficial channels that [Musharraf's] return home will be facilitated. We sincerely appreciate these overtures since Pakistan is home,” they said. On June 14, The Express Tribune reported that the exiled general, who seized power in a 1999 coup and was president from 2001 to 2008, had expressed a desire to spend the rest of his life in Pakistan.

His close associates subsequently approached the “powerful quarters” and government officials to make a formal request. The development came on the heels of a Twitter statement from the family in which they stressed that Musharraf’s “recovery is not possible”. The developments triggered a media guessing game on the military’s possible reaction, which came through quickly.

The chief military spokesperson said the “military brass believes Musharraf should be brought back to Pakistan”. “Musharraf’s family has been contacted for this purpose,” the army spokesman said. “If the family gives its consent, then arrangements would be made to bring him back.” Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf had toppled the government of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 1998 in a bloodless coup and then sent the Sharif family into exile as a result of a deal brokered by a friendly country.

However, Sharif in a tweet said that he was not opposed to Musharraf’s coming back to Pakistan. “I’ve no personal feud with Pervez Musharraf. I don’t want anyone to go through the same emotional shock and trauma with regard to their loved-ones as I had to endure,” he said in a cryptic reference to his tormentor. Sharif, who was sentenced to seven years in jail in a corruption case in December 2018, has been living in London since November 2019 for the treatment of some undiagnosed illness. PTI

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