Musharraf survives ‘life attempt’ on way to house

* Bomb explodes moments after convoy of former army chief crosses Fiazabad on way to Chak Shahzad from AFIC

ISLAMABAD: Former military dictator Pervez Musharraf survived a “life attempt” on Thursday, as a powerful explosion hit the Faizabad bridge moments after his convoy passed under it, sources told Daily Times. 
Musharraf, who is on trial for high treason, narrowly escaped the “assassination attempt” as the bomb went off shortly after his convoy passed through it, in the early hours of Thursday, police said. The bomb was planted on Musharraf’s route from the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), the army hospital where he has been staying since January, to his home on the outskirts of Islamabad. Musharraf was being shifted from AFIC in Rawalpindi to his farmhouse when the blast occurred, just after the convoy crossed the bridge. 
Nobody was injured and there were no claims of responsibility. The bomb weighed around four kilogrammes and was planted in a pipeline under the bridge, senior police official Liaqat Niazi told Daily Times. Security threats have prevented Musharraf from appearing in all but two of his high treason hearings. It was the fourth attempt on the ex-general’s life, with the first three occurring while he was in office. The blast left a three-foot-wide hole in the ground. Musharraf was transferred safely to his farmhouse in Chak Shahzad area. 
The police registered a case in Islamabad’s Secretariat Police Station against unidentified attackers. The former military dictator was admitted to the AFIC on January 3 when he was on his way to the special court set up for his high treason trial for abrogating the constitution and detaining superior courts’ judges in 2007. However, the general’s convoy took a detour to the hospital in Rawalpindi when he suddenly started suffering chest pain. 
Musharraf has been trying to leave the country, saying he wants to visit his ailing mother in the UAE and get medical treatment abroad for himself. However, he has been unable to do so as he faces several court cases and also because he is on the Exit Control List. The government on Wednesday denied his request to remove his name from the ECL. In response to the former military ruler’s request for removal of his name from the ECL, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, after two days consultation with party members and military leadership, on Wednesday refused to give Pervez Musharraf a safe passage.

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