Pakistan’s former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who faces treason charges, has left the country to receive medical treatment in Dubai.
Musharraf’s departure on Friday came a day after the government lifted a travel ban imposed on him following an order by Pakistan’s Supreme Court.
Pakistani media showed images of Musharraf leaving his home in a heavily guarded convoy for the airport in Karachi. He entered the airport through a gate reserved for staff and left for Dubai on an Emirates flight.
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“I am a commando and I love my homeland,” Musharraf told reporters at the airport. “I will come back in a few weeks or months.”
Minister of the Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Thursday the former ruler was being allowed to travel for treatment after a commitment from his lawyers that he would return in four to six weeks to face the charges against him.
Musharraf needed to see a doctor in Dubai about back problems that had put him in hospital several times in previous months, his lawyer Faisal Chaudhry said.
Self-imposed exile and return
Musharraf came to power in 1999 in a bloodless coup against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and stood down nine years later when threatened with impeachment.
He returned to Pakistan in March 2013 after nearly four years of self-imposed exile to contest elections.
Musharraf was acquitted earlier this year of the murder of a separatist leader in 2006.
He still faces, however, at least four other charges, including treason for suspending the constitution in 2007.
Another important case involving Musharraf is the murder of former two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was killed in 2007.
He denies the charges.