The former Pak ruler complained of "heart problem" on his way to a special court to face trial in a high treason case.

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf developed a heart problem while on his way to the special court trying him for high treason on Thursday and was admitted to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi. The special court in its order in the evening said that in view of the fact that he had to be rushed to hospital it was not going to issue an arrest warrant and exempted him for the third time from making an appearance. The court was to indict him on the charges of putting the Constitution in abeyance and other counts today. The case is now adjourned to Monday.

Gen. Musharraf is under observation by a team of doctors and is in the intensive cardiac care unit. Aasia Ishaque of the All Pakistan Muslim League told The Hindu on the phone that an angiography was performed on him and it showed that three of his arteries were blocked. The doctors have also prevented him from speaking. She said that he was in a critical condition. He was on his way to the court before noon when he felt uneasy and developed some pain, started sweating and his hands went numb.

She said that since yesterday he was shocked that a senior sitting judge of the Islamabad high court had during a hearing said that Gen. Musharraf being a convicted criminal had more security protocol than the retired Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry who had just four persons. She pointed out that Gen. Musharraf was not convicted in any case and this statement had upset him. She also dispelled rumours that he would leave the country for treatment.

The special court had summoned Gen. Musharraf on Thursday to indict him and senior defence counsel Sharifuddin Pirzada even told the court that he could make an appearance. However, later the court was informed by the Inspector General of Police, Security, Jan Mohammed that he was coming to the court when his convoy was diverted to the hospital. The police which has deployed 1000 personnel along the route from Gen. Musharraf’s farmhouse at Chak Shahzad to the National Library building was taken by surprise. The entire security apparatus was waiting at his house since 8 am, the police said. However news reports also said that there was security on the route to Rawalpindi.

Special Public Prosecutor Akram Sheikh told the court that he demanded the issuance of a non bailable warrant for the former military ruler since he has not obeyed two summonses issued by the court. If he is suffering from an illness, let the law take its course, Mr. Sheikh submitted. Gen. Musharraf’s defence lawyers said that their client had gone to hospital due to an illness and it should not give the impression that he was not complying with the court order. Khalid Ranjha, defence counsel told the court that the issue was security but Gen. Musharraf was on his way with the security officers when he had a heart problem. The court order is complied with, he pointed out.

When proceedings began this morning defence counsel Anwar Mansoor told the court that he was harassed and kept awake all night by someone who kept banging the door of his flat and ringing the doorbell. He said under these circumstances he could not continue with the case. He later walked out of the court in protest.

After that there was a harangue between the lawyers of the defence and the prosecution teams who accused other of issuing threats and intimidation and flung accusations at each other. The court observed that it had never witnessed such scenes and these things usually happened at the school or college level. Justice Faisal Arab called on the senior-most counsel Mr. Pirzada to intervene and passed an order that the two teams should not interact with each other since it amounts to interrupting court proceedings.

Mr. Pirzada said in this tense atmosphere the court should adjourn the proceeding still Monday. He said the defence counsel was being threatened and the dignity of the court needs to be maintained.

The court kept asking about whether Gen. Musharraf was appearing or not and finally said that it would have to issue a warrant. This was before Gen. Musharraf developed a problem and his vehicle was diverted to the hospital. The court will decide on the three petitions filed by the defence challenging the constitution of the court, alleging bias among the judges and whether the Code of Criminal Procedure applies to the proceedings later and hear arguments from the prosecution on Monday.