News Analysis |
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has announced to see Nawaz Sharif, former Prime Minister, in jail while several PPP leaders has also been urging the government to provide medical facilities to the PML-N supremo as per his demands.
PPP chairman is scheduled to see Mr. Sharif today (Monday) at Kot Lakhpat jail to inquire about latter’s health. PPP chairman’s spokesman Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar has categorically stated that “the only purpose of Bilawal’s visit to the jail is to inquire after the health”. Besides, Mr. Khokhar, PPP Punjab president Qamar Zaman Kaira and Jameel Soomro, political secretary to Mr. Bhutto-Zardari, will accompany the party chairman to the Kot Lakhpat jail.
PTI leaders maintain that since the Prime Minister has offered Mr. Sharif to let the government know wherever he wants to get admitted for his treatment, there is no point of making hue and cry.
It is important to recall here that Mr. Bhutto-Zardari with his father Asif Ali Zardari and other senior party leaders had previously visited the Sharifs’ residence at Jati Umra in September last year to offer their condolences over the demise of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.
After PPP chairman’s decision to visit Mr. Sharif, PPP senior leader Syed Khursheed Shah has said that Mr. Sharif was not in good health and “if something happens to him it would be considered murder, for which [Prime Minister] Imran Khan will be responsible”.
To counter Mr. Shah, Federal Minister for Information Mr. Fawad Chaudhary said: “you [Khursheed Shah] are not worried about Nawaz Sharif, you are concerned about yourself being sent to jail.”
Read more: Bilawal to meet Nawaz in jail
PTI leaders maintain that since the Prime Minister has offered Mr. Sharif to let the government know wherever he wants to get admitted for his treatment, there is no point of making hue and cry. Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid took it to Twitter and said, “Political differences aside, we pray for Sharif’s health.” Nawaz has been given the option to pick the hospital of his own choice to get treatment, yet he refuses to be shifted, Dr. Yasmin remarked.
Political differences aside, we pray for Nawaz Sharif's health.
He has been given the option to get treated at any hospital of his choice, but all he insists on being sent abroad.
In decades of rule, there is not a single hospital he finds worthy of his own treatment.
— Dr. Yasmin Rashid (@Dr_YasminRashid) March 9, 2019
Given the government’s such assurances, Information Minister once again blamed the former ruling party of doing politics on Nawaz’s health. “Nawaz Sharif might not be doing this himself, but there is a section within N-league that is doing politics on his health because they have no public issue left on which they can do politics,” the minister alleged. After the continuous refusal of Sharif to shift into hospital, The government has permanently placed a mobile cardiac unit in the Kot Lakh Pat jail.
PPP has joined hands with the PML-N since Mr. Asif Ali Zardari and his sister are already facing corruption and money laundering charges. PTI alleges both mainstream political parties of being in a close political relationship to save each other.
Nawaz Sharif who was disqualified by the Supreme Court of Pakistan for not being honest and truthful is now serving seven years imprisonment for possessing assets beyond known sources. Nawaz’s party and political aides argue that he is being victimized for political reasons. Nawaz’s daughter Maryam Safdar tweeted multiple times and expressed reservations over the health conditions of his father. She urged the people to pray for him.
The sitting government and some analysts view the ongoing propaganda being sponsored by the PML-N to let Nawaz Sharif out of Pakistan under the pretext of treatment after his failure to seek any favor from the courts. It is pertinent to mention here that Mr. Sharif pleaded before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that he be given bail due to deteriorating health conditions. However, the court rejected the plea. Nawaz Sharif has challenged the verdict of the LHC in the Supreme Court.
Some political analysts believe that everyone should be given the same legal treatment. Therefore, PM Khan’s instructions to treat former PM are in violation of the constitution which assures the equality before the law.
خان صاحب آپ پورےپاکستان کے وزیراعظم ہیں،جیل کےتمام قیدیوں کے برابرحقوق ہیں لہٰزا یہ ہدایت آپ سب کیلئےجاری کریں ورنہ قوانین موجودہیں۔امتیازی سلوک کی آئین اجازت نہیں دیتا۔اقتدار پاکستان کا پسندلیکن علاج اور ڈاکٹرز پاکستان کے پسند نہیں۔اللہ تمام مریضوں کو صحت دے۔ https://t.co/foVOEwUw3x
— Sabir Shakir (@ARYSabirShakir) March 10, 2019
For many political observers, it is worrisome that Nawaz Sharif has declined to get admitted in any hospital in Pakistan and his aides are now threatening the government if it does not allow him to go abroad and something happens to Nawaz, government will be blamed for it. PPP has joined hands with the PML-N since Mr. Asif Ali Zardari and his sister are already facing corruption and money laundering charges. PTI alleges both mainstream political parties of being in a close political relationship to save each other. The PTI government is under political pressure and legal obligations, and it is yet to be seen how PM Khan deals with it.