RAWALPINDI - Though former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf had appeared before a special court in Islamabad in the high treason case, it is not sure how long the general will stay in the heavily guarded military-run hospital.

With the presence of the former chief of army staff in Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), which is lone state-of-the-art hospital in the garrison city, tens of hundreds of patients and their attendants are facing immense troubles owing to extraordinary security arrangements made to protect a retired army general.

Musharraf, facing charges under Article 6 for suspending, subverting and abrogating the constitution, imposing an emergency in the country in November 2007 and house locking of judges, is admitted in the AFIC for the last 48 days, but nobody knows what kind of treatment he is being given and which disease he is suffering from.

On a visit paid by this scribe to AFIC on Wednesday, it was observed that scores of patients and their attendants either admitted or visiting the hospital were feeling uncomfortable seeing heavy armed military commandoes roaming in and around the hospital. They don’t know how long the atmosphere of the hospital will remain the same.

Qamar Khan, a resident of Abbottabad, whose uncle is admitted in AFIC, told this scribe that he arrived at the hospital from his native town to enquire after the health of his uncle. He said that he was barred by security personnel and not allowed to go inside. “It seems I am not a Pakistani and belong to any terrorist organization that the security men not allowing me to get inside,” he said in an angry tone.

A large number of other citizens also demanded of the government to end this troublesome phase of the hospital patients and their attendants so that they could take a sigh of relief.

Earlier on Tuesday last, very strict security arrangements were made on the occasion of Musharraf’s presence appearance in the special court in Islamabad and his returning back to AFIC with deputing a large number of police, elite force and army commandoes on all the roads leading to Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Traffic remained jammed on all the major roads, posing hardships for commuters and pedestrians.

Despite several attempts, no member of Musharraf’s legal team or doctors could be contacted to get their response about their client/patients’ schedule that how long he will stay in AFIC.