Pakistan government allows Musharraf to go abroad for treatment

Islamabad: The Pakistani government has allowed former President Pervez Musharraf to travel abroad for medical treatment, the country's Interior Minister said here on Thursday. The decision came a day after the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered removal of a travel ban on Pervez Musharraf, enabling him to go out of the country. "We have decided to permit Pervez Musharraf go out of the country for medical treatment in line with the court's verdict," Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said at a news conference in Islamabad. Khan said Musharraf will return to the country within six weeks. Reports earlier suggested that Musharraf planned to depart for the United Arab Emirates late Wednesday. However, he could not leave the country as his name was on the list of those who cannot leave the country without government permission. "We have removed Musharraf's name from the Exit Control List," the minister said. The federal government had earlier banned Musharraf, who quit as president in 2008, from leaving the country as he faces several cases including high treason and the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. A special court, hearing the treason case against Musharraf for abrogating the constitution, had summoned him to personally appear on March 31, but it is unclear if he will return for appearance. The former president has been formally charged in the case. Musharraf was also charged in the murder case of former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, who was killed in the garrison city of Rawalpindi. Musharraf has been formally indicted in the case. A five-member bench of the Supreme Court ended a travel ban on the former president after his lawyers told the court that their client suffers from "back pain" and the treatment is not available in Pakistan.