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Nawaz on verge of playing ‘beemari card’


News Analysis |

According to sources, jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is facing a serious health scare in Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail. According to the reports emerging from Nawaz camp after the visit of Nawaz’s personal doctor Major General (retired) Azhar Kayani, Nawaz is experiencing numerous medical issues due to dehydration.

Now, once again, PPP’s election campaign is completely based on Bhutto card and Bibi card. They create a perception of victimhood to woe voters.

After a visit on Sunday, Dr. Kayani had recommended to immediately shift Nawaz to hospital.

He advised administration of drips to overcome dehydration. Besides, the tests showed that Nawaz had high sugar level and high urea concentration in blood that could be damaging for the kidneys. Moreover, his ECG was also not normal, which prompted doctors to ask the jail authorities to shift him to hospital.

Read more: End of the road for Nawaz?

Following his visit, in which he showed concerns for Nawaz’s health due to dehydration, a team of doctors arrived at the Central Jail Rawalpindi to carry out Sharif’s medical check-up, which turned out normal. Doctors were of the view that summer heat could be the reason for Nawaz’s dehydration.

Later, it was decided that health officials will look into Nawaz’s condition today and after analyzing the gravity of the situation, they will take the decision to shift him to hospital.

Moreover, the jail superintendent has reportedly penned a letter to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), in which he asked the hospital to set up a medical board to examine Nawaz’s health.

A four-member medical board has reached Adiala Jail for the check-up of Nawaz. Authorities may take the decision to shift him to the hospital, after the examination.

Nawaz has been successful in building a narrative. If he switches to the hospital before July 25, Nawaz will become one of those high profile politicians to play ‘beemari card’ or ‘health card’.

Fair enough, Nawaz may have been exposed to heat like millions of Pakistani’s. The timing of the Nawaz’s health condition makes one curious. After media frenzy over the issue that father-daughter duo face a major threat in the jail, Maryam was all set to leave for Sihala.

First, he halted Maryam’s departure to Sihala Rest House. Some reports suggest that G Jail Shahid Saleem Baig visited Nawaz last Friday to convince him to send Maryam Nawaz to the Sinhala Rest House. And now, the deterioration in Nawaz’s health despite the fact that he was deemed fit when he entered the prison 10-days ago, leads to suspicions over this sensitive issue.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif represents the predatorification of politics

How a convicted criminal is trying to present himself as a political criminal is apparent in an international campaign to show Nawaz as a victim.

It’s ironic that since Nawaz’s return, there has been no update on Begum Kalsoom Nawaz’s health. Otherwise, most of the media houses were running numerous articles on the issue.

Even the electronic media is numb on her condition. The focus is only on the Nawaz and Maryam’s jail term. Interestingly, the victim card has continued to evolve. Its transition has seen a different type of sympathy card.

After his disqualification on July 28, 2017, Nawaz cleverly used his ousting to change the perception of people. From a narrative of penthouse pirates, and corrupt looters to the victim of the establishment is quite a turnaround.

Despite the crises, Nawaz-like an astute politician has used different political slogans to reach out to masses.

According to the reports emerging from Nawaz camp after the visit of Nawaz’s personal doctor Major General (retired) Azhar Kayani, Nawaz is experiencing numerous medical issues due to dehydration.

The advertising campaign of Nawaz revolves around the victim card and a sympathy card.  The popularity and effectiveness of the message cannot be denied.  People across Punjab, in particular, sympathize with him.

Nawaz has been successful in building a narrative. If he switches to the hospital before July 25, Nawaz will become one of those high profile politicians to play ‘beemari card’ or ‘health card’.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif – The unacceptable face of our politics

PML-N is following the footsteps of PPP in playing with the sentiments of people. In 2008 elections, PPP successfully used the Bhutto card. Now, once again, PPP’s election campaign is completely based on Bhutto card and Bibi card. They create a perception of victimhood to woe voters.

Apparently, this seems to be a part of the plan. Father-daughter duo will eventually move to Sihala Rest House but after July 25 elections. Maryam may go straight to the rest house, but, Nawaz will take a hospital route.

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