Lahore, (TLTP): The government of Punjab Tuesday rejected the application of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for extension in bail on medical grounds.
The decision was taken during weekly provincial cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in which a three-member team tasked to deal with matters concerning Nawaz’s health presented its report.
Provincial Law Minister Raja Muhammad Basharat addressing a news conference along with provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid and Information Minister Fayyazul Chohan said the committee has decided that Nawaz’s bail cannot be extended further.
“Till today Nawaz has not been admitted to any hospital in London,” said the provincial law minister, adding that extension in bail period cannot be granted on medical and legal grounds. He said the recommendation of the Punjab cabinet will be forwarded to the federal cabinet.
Basharat said that Nawaz has been given 16 weeks to seek treatment in London, yet he was never admitted in a hospital.
The provincial government has twice deemed incomplete the medical reports submitted by Nawaz’s team earlier and sought new reports.
Nawaz Sharif’s personal physician Dr Adnan in a meeting held between PML-N representatives and government committee had sought two-week time for the medical procedure of Nawaz Sharif at London hospital.
“Since no new reports were sent, the Punjab cabinet has decided not to extend the bail,” Basharat said.
He added, “Rana Sanaullah came on the media a few days ago and said Nawaz would undergo a cardiac procedure on February 24, however, when we asked Dr Adnan, he refused to share a specific date and said the operation would be lined up in the next two to three weeks.”
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s personal physician Dr Adnan Khan on Monday dismissed reports that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader is undergoing a medical procedure at a London hospital.
Raja said the former premier’s personal physician did not maintain contact with the government. He said the medical board was also not satisfied with the reports submitted by Sharif’s team. The law minister said the government would approach court to declare Nawaz an absconder.
Dr Yasmeen Rashid said that the government always believed the former premier could be treated in Pakistan. She said Nawaz has been in a stable condition since he left. “We have not received any fresh reports from Nawaz Sharif since he went to UK”, she said.
The former prime minister is currently seeking an extension in his stay abroad from the Punjab government on health grounds due to severe illness – which some suspect is a ruse to escape jail. Sharif, who is serving seven-year jail term, was diagnosed with an immune system disorder – acute immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) – in October 2019. He remained hospitalised in Pakistan for weeks and reportedly was in very critical condition. The PML-N supremo was granted eight-week bail on medical grounds by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on October 27.
Nawaz, along with Shehbaz Sharif, left Pakistan on November 20, 2019 – four days after the LHC directed the federal government to remove Nawaz’s name from the ECL for four weeks.
The PTI-led federal government also allowed him permission to fly abroad for treatment after a board of doctors constituted by the government concluded that his treatment was not possible in Pakistan.
Condemning the decision, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif termed the decision political victimisation. “The Punjab government’s decision is petty-mindedness and political revenge.”
He added the Punjab government had signed on the documents allowing Nawaz to travel abroad. “Today the Punjab government on the basis of political revenge went back on its decision. The Punjab government’s assertion that Nawaz’s treatment is possible in Pakistan is nothing but a condemnable lie,” he said.
The PML-N leader further said that they had submitted all the reports on time. “Nawaz Sharif is not being allowed to live. Getting treatment is every person’s basic right and we will not comprise on Nawaz’s health.”
“Nawaz will continue to undergo treatment as per the doctor’s decision,” Shehbaz added. Another PML-N senior leader Rana Sanaullah said the government would have rejected Nawaz’s plea even if they had all reports. “Nawaz will return once he is healthy,” he added.
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