November 17, 2019
Former premier Nawaz Sharif will leave for treatment abroad on Tuesday, said PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb.
In a statement issued today, the party’s spokesperson said that an air ambulance will arrive on Tuesday morning to transport Nawaz.
The announcement comes a day after the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday allowed the former premier to travel abroad for four weeks for medical treatment, saying the duration could be extended based on medical reports.
In a blow to the government, which had placed a condition of indemnity bonds for Nawaz’s travel, the court had ordered the federal government to remove his name from the Exit Control List (ECL) without any conditions.
A two-judge bench of the high court had announced the interim order at around 5:45pm on Saturday following the marathon proceedings that started at 12:15pm in the presence of PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif and other party leaders.
In her statement today, Aurangzeb said that doctors had carried out a detailed examination of Nawaz’s [health], adding that they had consulted each other about making the former premier fit for travel.
Aurangzeb said that the process of administering a high dose of steroids to Nawaz was underway so that his platelet count could be brought to a suitable level for travel. Additionally, he is being given medication to lower his high blood sugar and other medical issues, she said.
She appealed to the nation to pray that the PML-N supremo has a safe journey.
Earlier on Sunday morning, Nawaz’s personal physician, Dr Adnan Khan, said that the former premier was scheduled to travel to London within 48 hours “once he’s clinically stabilised, made travel-worthy [and] is safe for air travel”.
Former PM #NawazSharif is scheduled to travel abroad, to London-UK, for medical treatment within 48 hours once he’s clinically stabilised, made travel-worthy & is safe for air travel.
He will make the journey in a fully equipped & medically staffed Air Ambulance; arriving soon.
— Dr. Adnan Khan (@Dr_Khan) November 17, 2019
“He will make the journey in a fully equipped [and] medically staffed air ambulance; arriving soon,” Dr Khan added in a tweet.
LHC decision hailed
After the high court’s decision to permit Nawaz to travel abroad for treatment on Saturday, Shehbaz, Nawaz’s brother, had hailed the decision, saying the prayers of his mother, the nation and supporters had been granted.
Shehbaz signed an undertaking which stated he would “ensure return” of his brother “within four weeks or on certification by doctors that he has regained his health and is fit to return back to Pakistan”.
“I further undertake to provide/send the periodical medical report of the doctor duly notarised by the embassy to the registrar of this court,” said the document signed by the PML-N president.
“I also undertake that if at any stage, the federal government has credible information that Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif is living abroad despite his fitness to travel, a representative from Pakistan’s High Commission would have a right to meet with his physician(s) to verify or confirm about his health.”
Following the court orders, Shehbaz had said that he would be accompanying his elder brother abroad.
“Initially, we are going to London but we will move to any other country as per doctors’ advice,” he said, adding that if needed, he would stay abroad with his brother.
The PML-N president added that Nawaz’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, will remain in Pakistan.
Sharif family given ‘too much relief’
Meanwhile, Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan had said that the former prime minister and his family had been given “too much relief by the system” even though ordinary people and those from the privileged classes should be treated equally.
“This case was not decided on merit and the court will take into consideration this issue at the time of announcing the (final) verdict,” he said on Saturday while addressing a press conference along with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.
The attorney general had been asked whether or not relief (similar to the one granted to Nawaz) would be given to ordinary prisoners, allowing them to be treated by doctors at their homes.
Khan said: “I believe that Nawaz Sharif and his family have enjoyed too much relief; we want equal treatment for all.”
He had added that only after receiving a written order of the court, would the federal cabinet have the power to decide if an appeal against it should be filed.
Govt’s one-time permission for medical care
On Wednesday, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government, after much deliberation, had granted a one-time permission to Nawaz for four weeks to travel abroad for his treatment provided he submitted indemnity bonds worth over Rs7.5 billion.
The condition was challenged in LHC by the PML-N legal team, on behalf of the former premier, on Thursday and was taken up by the two-member bench on the same day.
Nawaz, who was diagnosed with an immune system disorder, has been advised to go abroad for medical treatment. The former premier is convicted in two corruption cases and is a suspect in another.
The former prime minister was rushed from Kot Lakhpat jail to the hospital last month after his personal physician Dr Adnan Khan raised an alarm over his deteriorating health. Following this, Shehbaz Sharif had submitted a request to the interior ministry as well as NAB for the removal of Nawaz’s name from the ECL so that the former prime minister could travel abroad for medical treatment.
Nawaz, who was incarcerated after an accountability court found him guilty in the Al Azizia corruption reference, was granted bail by the Islamabad High Court on humanitarian grounds. He also obtained bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, in which he is a suspect, from the LHC.