In his legal filing to the Supreme Court, Musharraf argued that his absence from the special tribunal was due to health reasons and that he had been granted permission to travel abroad to receive medical assistance. He is currently undergoing treatment in Dubai.

He also denied running from the law and insisted that the prosecution had failed to prove the treason charges against him. The petition further states that the Pakistani government had failed to meet legal requirements before pursuing the case.

His plea comes just days after the Lahore High Court threw out the death sentence handed to Musharraf, ruling that the special court which had found him guilty of high treason was unconstitutional because the legislation it used could not be applied retroactively.

Musharraf seized power during a bloodless coup in 1999. He imposed a state of emergency and suspended the constitution in 2007 as he sought reelection as president, but ultimately resigned a year later to avoid impeachment. But his supporters still see him as a staunch defender of Pakistani interests both at home and internationally.

In 2013, political rival Nawaz Sharif, whom he ousted in the 1999 coup, brought treason charges against Musharraf, who claimed they were politically motivated.

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