As news filtered in about Pakistan’s former military dictator Pervez Musharraf falling ill on his way to the special court where he is being tried on treason charges, people wondered if he would be tried at all. The retired general, who was being taken from his palatial house in Islamabad’s suburbs to the court under heavy security of 1,600 personnel, is now comfortably ensconced in the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), as it is suspected that he has developed some heart problem. A popular Pakistani twitterati even joked about it suggesting that: “AFIC has diagnosed Musharraf with court allergy and says it can only be treated abroad.”
There are many others who have voiced their concern about this episode as a precursor to the general eventually being flown out of the country under the pretext of medical treatment. Certainly, there is little faith among the ordinary people that Musharraf will be tried at all for his sin of imposing emergency measures in November 2007. This was the second time that he had imposed military rule in nine years. Notwithstanding the numerous legal issues of the case, its ultimate result will throw light on where civil-military relations stand in Pakistan today. Or if civilian institutions have become stronger, as it is claimed.