"Gen Musharraf is not afraid of the court nor does he want to avoid it. As you are aware, he is not well and is admitted in the hospital for the last 14 days. If the doctors say he can go to court he will but if the doctors say he cannot then he will not," Ahmed Raza Kasuri told reporters at a protest organized by Musharraf's party and the MQM outside the Press Club here.

Kasuri said the trial against Musharraf was ‘politically motivated’.

"It is a cock and bull story. The trial has been initiated by Nawaz Sharif because of the 1999 (coup) incident. He is taking personal revenge against Musharraf," Kasuri alleged.

Last week, the special court had ordered Musharraf to appear at a hearing on January 16, after reviewing the medical reports presented by the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), where he has been receiving treatment.

"The medical report does not suggest that the accused, in his present state of health, is unable to attend the court, nor any material was placed on record to justify his inability to appear," the court order issued on January 9 stated.

"It is clear that the accused has failed to obey and comply with the order of this court," the order said.

Musharraf was rushed to a military hospital in Rawalpindi on January 2 after he suddenly developed a medical complication en route to attend the hearing of the case.

The former military strongman had also missed two earlier hearings in his case because of bomb threats, and there has been rampant speculation in the media that he would be evacuated from the country for medical reasons.

He faces treason charges under Article six for suspending, subverting and abrogating the Constitution, imposing an emergency in the country in November 2007 and detaining judges of the superior courts.

Musharraf also faces charges in two other cases related to the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto and the murder of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Bugti in 2006.

This is the first time in Pakistan's history that a former military ruler has been put on trial for treason, a charge that entails life imprisonment or death penalty if convicted.

(Agencies)

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