A minor fire broke out early on Wednesday in a block of the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), where former president Pervez Musharraf is under treatment for a heart condition. The fire was caused by short circuiting, a source in the hospital told The Express Tribune, while adding that the army has started investigating the fire.
On an unrelated note, security was beefed up at the hospital and in adjacent areas following fresh security threats to the life of the former president.
The source said that the fire was small and took place on the fourth floor of the National Institute of Heart Diseases, a block of the AFIC.
“After receiving information about the fire, we moved three fire tenders to the AFIC. However, before we reached there, army personnel at the hospital had extinguished the fire,” said Rescue 1122 District Emergency Officer Dr Abdul Rehman, adding that the hospital administration did not allow the firefighters to enter the building.
“There was a small fire. We were told that the fire broke out due to a short circuit,” Regional Police Officer Akhtar Hayat Lalika said.
Meanwhile, sources claimed that intelligence agencies had alerted the Rawalpindi administration that a militant group was planning to attack the hospital after failing to carry out attacks on Milad processions in the city.
After receiving the information, the administration beefed up security around the AFIC and adjacent areas.
A joint picket manned by soldiers and elite force personnel has been established outside the Cantonment Building adjacent to the AFIC, while the U-turn near MH Chowk has been closed. Due to new traffic restrictions around AFIC, traffic snarls could be seen all along Mall Road.
Meanwhile, Rana Ijaz, a member of Musharraf’s legal team told the media the former president was still unwell. “Pervez Musharraf is ill, but if doctors allow him, he will definitely appear before the court on Thursday,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2014.
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