Pakistan's top court has ordered the country's former military ruler to appear before a special tribunal hearing a treason case against him or forfeit his rights to a defense.

The Supreme Court said Monday it was giving Gen. Pervez Musharraf a last chance to voluntarily appear before the tribunal. The top court said it acted on a petition by attorney Taufeeq Asif.

Musharraf was indicted in 2014. He left Pakistan for Dubai in 2016 for treatment and has not returned to the country since then. Last month, he was hospitalized in Dubai.

The treason case against Musharraf was brought by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government charging the military ruler with treason for imposing a state of emergency in 2007.

Musharraf toppled Sharif's government in a 1999 bloodless coup.