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Monday, May 27, 2024

Just having Dinner: Dr. Yasmin reminds Nawaz his relief limit has expired

As Nawaz Sharif’s picture went viral, there are some serious question about the credibility of medical professionals and the current government in Pakistan. Was Prime Minister Imran Khan betrayed by his own ministers? Did Nawaz really go to London for his treatment?

In the latest development, Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid on Tuesday said that the relief granted to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for medical treatment abroad had expired and he should submit an updated report regarding his health to the provincial authorities.

Rashid made the statement while talking to reporters in Lahore on Tuesday afternoon. The provincial minister said that the court-granted relief for the former premier had expired on December 25, and photos of him dining out in London were now creating controversy.

It is worth noting that a picture of ailing former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at a local restaurant in London has gone viral on Monday. The picture shows Nawaz Sharif having dinner with PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, former finance minister Ishaq Dar, Salman Shehbaz, Hassan Nawaz and others.

Read more: PMLN to Choose Between Money & Nawaz Sharif? – Maleeha Hashmey

As the picture started circulating on social media Ms. Yasmin Rashid contacted Nawaz Sharif’s personal physician and sought details about Sharif’s health.

Sharif had been granted bail on medical grounds by the Islamabad High Court for eight weeks in late October. He had been serving a sentence in the Al-Azizia reference when he was granted bail and had subsequently left Pakistan for London for medical treatment.

It is important to note that the federal cabinet granted in-principle “conditional” approval to remove Nawaz’s name from the ECL. The government had asked the Sharif family to pay Rs.7 billion as surety bonds — equivalent to the fines imposed on him by an accountability court in two corruption cases Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Avenfield properties — in which he was convicted.

The PML-N leadership rejected the offer. While addressing a press conference after consultation meeting of senior party leaders in Lahore, Shehbaz Sharif said that the incumbent government of PTI wanted to take ransom from the Sharif family in the name of indemnity bond.

The Lahore High Court on Saturday (usually an off day) allowed former premier Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad for four weeks for medical treatment, saying the duration could be extended based on medical reports.

Read more: First NRO of 2019: Nawaz, Shehbaz & Maryam Set To Leave For London

A two-judge bench, comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem, started hearing the petition at 11 am and after multiple breaks and back and forth, delivered the verdict close to 6 pm.

In the court-approved undertaking, Nawaz assured that he would return “within four weeks” ─ a time frame that was missing in the initial handwritten undertaking.

“Discrepancy” between medical reports and manifest behavior

Brig (R) Ijaz Ahmad Shah, Interior Minister, said that there is a “discrepancy” between the medical reports of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and the behavior he exhibited while departing for London for his medical treatment.

Speaking to prominent TV show host Mehar Bukhari, the interior minister said that the nation would not have questioned Nawaz Sharif’s departure from the country if he had departed “like a sick person” or was at least, seen boarding the plane on a wheelchair.

Brig (R) Ijaz Ahmad Shah maintained that he was not involved in the process, but currently prevailing “doubts” would not have existed if he had been tasked with an investigation on the severity of Nawaz’s medical condition.

Commenting on the “issue” with Nawaz’s departure from the country, Shah observed that the problem started due to the “manner in which the Lahore High Court handled the case.” He said that it was uncommon for the LHC to hear an application on a Saturday, which was done in the case of Nawaz’s petition.

Read more: How sound is the decision of Nawaz Sharif’s bail? – Saad Rasool

Those who suspect a deal point towards the past. If the 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. The 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.