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Former Ruler Musharraf Leaves Pakistan For Medical Treatment

Pakistani former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf gestures during an interview (file photo).

Former President Pervez Musharraf has left Pakistan for medical treatment in Dubai after the government lifted a travel ban imposed on him, his spokesman said.

Lawyers for the former military ruler, who is facing multiple charges including treason and murder over the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, have said he needs urgent spinal treatment not available in Pakistan.

His departure early on March 18 comes after the government gave him a green light to leave and the Supreme Court lifted a three-year ban on his travelling abroad.

"Lawyers of General Musharraf filed a proper application and in the light of the Supreme Court decision, the government has allowed him to go abroad for medical treatment," Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on March 17.

Khan said Musharraf's lawyers had given guarantees that he would return to Pakistan after six weeks and that he would appear in court for ongoing cases against him.

On March 17, the Supreme Court lifted the travel ban imposed on Musharraf in 2013, when he returned to Pakistan to take part in elections. But he was barred from running and instead became embroiled in several court cases, including one that involved treason charges.

The 70-year-old Musharraf took power in a 1999 coup by dismissing the government of then-and-now Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He stepped down in 2008 and left Pakistan.

With reporting by AFP and Reuters