Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has arrived in Dubai for medical treatment, days after the Supreme Court lifted a travel ban, BBC reports. His lawyers say he needs urgent spinal treatment unavailable in Pakistan. Mr Musharraf returned from self-imposed exile in 2013 to fight elections, but soon found himself fighting an array of charges relating to his time in power.
Before he left the former president told reporters that he would return to face all pending cases against him. “I am a commando and I love my homeland. I will come back in a few weeks or months,” he said according to local media. BBC correspondents say observers are sceptical about his promised return.
The charges relate to the former general’s imposition of a 2007 state of emergency and the assassination of former PM Benazir Bhutto the same year. Mr Musharraf, 70, denies all the charges and has called them politically motivated. Mr Musharraf seized power in a coup in 1999, when he was army chief. He remained president until 2008, when a democratically elected government came into power.
He left the country soon afterwards to live in self-imposed exile in Dubai and London. However, he returned in 2013, hoping to lead his party into elections – but was disqualified from standing.
He faces a murder claim for failing to prevent the assassination of Ms Bhutto. Other charges relate to events in the same year – the state of emergency, his suspension of judges during that period and the death of a cleric during a siege at the Red Mosque in Islamabad in 2007.
In January he was cleared over the 2006 killing of Baloch rebel leader Akbar Bugti, his first acquittal in the cases in which he is charged.