The Lahore High Court (LHC), on Friday, granted incarcerated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s appeal for bail on medical grounds from the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Nawaz, three-time premier, is currently serving a seven-year jail sentence after being convicted on charges of corruption. The former prime minister has denied the charges levelled against him, accusing the government of extracting politically-motivated vengeance against him and his party.
Bail Granted for Nawaz
Nawaz Sharif has been granted bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, and the court has directed the former Prime Minister to provide two surety bonds valued at Rs.10 million each.
Addressing the press outside the courtroom, Nawaz’s lawyer, Azam Nazir Tarar said, “We appealed for bail on medical grounds as his health condition continues to deteriorate and he needs a more effective treatment.”
The Punjab government has flown in Dr. Tariq Shamsi of the National Institute of Blood Disease in Karachi, and he has the most credible expertise to treat Nawaz’s condition
Earlier today, the LHC heard the appeal filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif for the release of his brother and party supremo on medical grounds.
A two-member bench, led by Justice Baqar Najafi, presided over the hearing. The prosecutor of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) informed the court that the illness of the former prime minister is treatable.
However, the defense team maintained that Nawaz Sharif’s condition is “serious”. Dr. Ayaz Mehmood, the head of the medical board established at Services Hospital to treat the former premier, informed the court that Nawaz’s platelet count was constantly declining.
Dr. Ayaz also informed the court that the PML-N supremo is suffering from multiple health conditions, and he has been receiving transfusions of platelets almost on a daily basis. The former premier’s 14-day physical remand in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills reference also concluded today.
Al-Azizia Hearing Adjourned
The Islamabad High Court (IHC), on Friday, adjourned the hearing of Nawaz Sharif’s petition for suspension and bail in the Al-Azizia case on medical grounds. The petition was filed by the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Shahbaz Sharif, on Thursday.
A two-member bench comprising of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Amir Farooq presided over the hearing of the petition. Upon their inquiry about Nawaz Sharif’s health, Dr. Saleem Cheema, Medical Superintendent of the Services Hospital and a member of the medical board set up to treat the former premier, informed that Nawaz’s health condition was “dangerous”.
The doctor informed the court that multiple tests nee to conducted, however, they have been delayed until Nawaz’s condition improves. The hearing on the petition was adjourned as the five-day treatment course of Nawaz will conclude on Tuesday, and doctors will be able to provide a comprehensive report on his health condition.
Upon the court’s objection that the medical report did not describe Nawaz’s condition as “dangerous”, Dr. Saleem responded, “If immediate treatment is not initiate, his life is in danger”. Dr. Saleem added that this point has been mentioned at the end of the medical report.
The doctor informed the court that the PML-N supremo is provided with the best possible treatment, and the he is also combatting other illnesses, including cardiac issues, diabetes and hypertension. Nawaz Sharif’s personal physician, Dr. Adnan, was also present at the hearing, and he was privately summoned by the court once the hearing was adjourned.
Sources reveal that the three-time prime minister has been diagnosed with acute idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). He is scheduled to undertake four doses of the IVIG treatment over the next three days. Until the treatment is completed, his platelet count is likely to remain low. In order to stabilize his platelet count, he will be given transfusions of platelets.
The former premier was shifted to Lahore’s Services Hospital late Monday night after his condition deteriorated, and was given a blood transfusion on Tuesday.
The Punjab government maintains that the reason behind the alarming decline in platelet counts was the administering of blood-thinning medications, however, the doctors maintain that aspirin is administered to heart patients and cannot cause such a significant decline.
Doctors losing their professional respect and credibility, in this process of politics, will be a huge loss to the nation
Dr. Adnan Malik, Nawaz Sharif’s personal physician, said that the “multiple pathologies” are the reason behind the sharp reduction in Nawaz’s platelet count. Dr. Yasmin Rashid, the Punjab Health Minister, on Wednesday said that Nawaz Sharif’s condition was better.
She said, “The Punjab government has flown in Dr. Tariq Shamsi of the National Institute of Blood Disease in Karachi, and he has the most credible expertise to treat Nawaz’s condition.”
Dr. Rashid added, “He scrutinized Nawaz’s reports and undertook relevant medical tests to examine whether his bone marrow was working appropriately or not.”
Nawaz’s Sudden Illness?
Dr. Moeed Pirzada, prominent analyst, observed that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s “sudden illness” has stirred up a case of sending his abroad for treatment. Dr. Moeed stressed that as a three-time ex-Premier of the country, he deserves the “best medical care” but his apparent diagnosis of “Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura” is cause for concern for everyone.
The political analyst observed, “It looks as if suddenly, within 24 hours, a case is again being made by his party, media channels and prominent TV commentators that he should be sent abroad for treatment. This is strange and raises suspicions about the whole affair. Accusations by Hussain Nawaz that “my father has been poisoned” and shrill voices by key politicians blaming the government and Prime Minister for Nawaz’s health condition and the fact that it suddenly happened synced with Maulana’s “Azadi March” lends credence to the suspicions that whole thing is political.”
“There is less solid information (as to what really happened and why) and more opinions on media from all sides. Doing this politics on health is sad, it reduces the sanctity of human sickness, of hospitals and medical reports – and of medical professionals. Doctors losing their professional respect and credibility, in this process of politics, will be a huge loss to the nation.”
Dr. Pirzada argued that Thrombocytopenia is not an illness that can only be treated abroad. He argued, “What Nawaz needs is best possible treatment not exile abroad. And best possible doctors from top medical institutions from within the country and if needed then from abroad can be called to examine him. After all “thrombocytopenia” is not something which can only be treated in London.”
The political analyst continued, “Two things – treatment & exile abroad – need to be examined separately. These two i.e. “good treatment” and “Exile in London” are not one and the same thing. But listening media debates it looks as if “treatment” and “London” are one and the same thing.”