Is Nawaz Sharif likely to leave for London?

Nawaz Sharif is reportedly to leave for London for his treatment. Nawaz’s cases exposes the loopholes in Pakistan’s criminal justice system which treats powerful men differently. Several questions are being raised.

Nawaz Sharif

Some reports suggest that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) government is thinking of allowing Nawaz Sharif to leave for London for his treatment. A reliable source told GVS that the government is mulling over multiple options and one of them is to let Nawaz leave the country and get treatment wherever his family wishes from. Some TV channels, anchors and political commentators are alleging the government for its negligence and lethargic attitude in Nawaz’s case. They believe Nawaz was unwell and the government knew it but did nothing.

On the other hand, government sources maintain that the PML-N is using social media to put pressurize on the government in order to seek ‘great political concessions’ in ongoing cases against its leaders. it is worth noting that besides Nawaz and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, PML-N’s president Shehbaz Sharif, his son, Hamza Shehbaz, Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother, Khawaja Salman Rafique are among others facing corruption charges and are being interrogated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). It is believed that the public pressure may force the government to get softer on all these bigwigs since a perception is being created as if the PTI’s government is following an “inhuman and cruel” approach while dealing with its political opponents.

Nawaz is Unwell: Dr. Adnan

Nawaz was shifted to the Services Hospital on Monday night after his health worsened. His personal physician Dr Adnan Malik also said that his platelet count was critically low which could be due to multiple pathologies. “Former PM #NawazSharif is detected to have critically low Platelet Count (16*10^9/L) that could be due to multiple pathologies & requires immediate in-hospital care. I’ve requested the concerned authorities to act in urgency please,” he said.

Dr. Tahir Shamsi, Haematologist, flown in from Karachi thinks that Nawaz is suffering from ITP, however why it suddenly developed is strange

Nawaz is Stable, NAB

However, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) issued a rebuttal to Dr. Adnan and said that Nawaz’s condition was “under control” and dengue test results were negative.

In a press release issued by NAB Lahore following the former premier’s visit to the hospital, the accountability watchdog said that Nawaz’s platelets had allegedly decreased “due to provision of medicine which makes blood thin that was suggested by Dr Adnan Khan, who is his personal physician”.

Read more: Is Nawaz Sharif’s unstable health being used for political purposes?

The NAB requested media not to carry out baseless allegations against the bureau. “Therefore, the impression being given in media that NAB has not given him permission to see Nawaz Sharif is not correct and totally baseless. Media is requested to kindly avoid spreading speculations without consulting [NAB’s] spokesman,” the bureau clarified.

A Deal is on the Cards?

Dr. Tahir Shamsi, Haematologist, flown in from Karachi thinks that Nawaz is suffering from ITP, however why it suddenly developed is strange. In medicine, Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura is an immune disorder in which the blood doesn’t clot normally. This condition is now more commonly referred to as immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). ITP can cause excessive bruising and bleeding. An unusually low level of platelets, or thrombocytes, in the blood results in ITP.

Moreover, his (Nawaz’s) personal doctor, Dr. Adnan was always with him. Adnan apparently wrote a letter to NAB on 16th, but letter was not made public till 21st, when he produced the blood tests showing low platelet count. Was Nawaz suffering from low platelet count previously is not known. So while Nawaz may be genuinely sick, impression is growing of a deal to create a sympathetic atmosphere in which he can be allowed to leave for London while cases against remain pending in courts.

Those who suspect a deal point towards past. If history of Pakistan is any witness to help then it may be true. No politically powerful person in Pakistan’s history has ever been punished in a court of law; convictions even if obtained in lower courts are almost always overturned by superior courts. System simply does not have the will to punish powerful people- they argue. In this case powerful sections of media, doctors and other actors active behind the scenes may be making a case to pressurized Prime Minister to let Nawaz go to London under a medical emergency, its being said.

Nawaz Sharif’s son Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz were declared absconders in the case

Furthermore, it is important to recall that Nawaz Sharif’s health remained a matter of attention for the courts and media. He filed a petition to get bail on health grounds in March this year. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa accepted Sharif’s appeal on medical grounds and granted him bail for six weeks, suspending his sentence and giving him the freedom to obtain medical treatment of his choice within the country, after Sharif’s counsel successfully argued that the former prime minister urgently needed angiography.

But the court’s order clearly stated that Nawaz Sharif shall not leave or be allowed to leave the country. Nawaz did not get admitted in any hospital during the six week period. He held meetings with several political leaders including the JUI-F’s chief at his residence which invited criticism from various segments who considered it a violation of the court’s order. After six weaks when the court did not extend his bail period, he was once again sent to jail.

Nawaz Sharif, Three-Time Prime Minister, Convicted for Having Assets Beyond Means

An Accountability Court in December last year convicted former prime minister and sentenced to seven years in prison in Al Azizia case while the former PM has been acquitted in Flagship corruption reference. The court also imposed a fine of $25 million in the Al Azizia case. Nawaz Sharif’s son Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz were declared absconders in the case.

Read more: Medical treatment abroad

Nawaz Sharif, in July 2017, was disqualified by the Supreme Court over the Panama Papers scandal, which also led to the filing of three corruption cases. Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.

On July 06, an accountability court sentenced the former PM, daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (r) Safdar in Avenfield reference for having assets beyond means in the London apartments. Currently, they are on bail granted to them by the Islamabad High Court.

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