LAHORE: Following serious concern shown by the PML-N leadership at the poor health of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the Punjab government on Saturday permanently placed a mobile cardiac unit at the Kot Lakhpat Jail to provide the imprisoned leader a brisk medical assistance in case of any emergency.

Punjab chief minister’s spokesman Dr Shahbaz Gill told journalists at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) that Mr Usman Buzdar had ordered placement of the unit on the Twitter request of Ms Maryam Nawaz. The PIC doctors and technicians would remain detailed in the mobile unit in three shifts. All life-saving facilities required to meet any emergency were available in the mobile unit, he said.

The PML-N earlier raised an alarm about the health of Mr Sharif, quoting his British doctors who wanted him to be shifted to a hospital equipped with adequate and modern cardiac care facilities without any fail.

Party sources said Mr Sharif’s latest medical reports were sent to the London’s Harley Street Hospital and other specialist doctors. The foreign medics had recommended that in view of the reports and complicated medical history of Mr Sharif, he should immediately be shifted to a modern cardiac care hospital.

The party also claimed that the doctors wanted treatment of the former premier in an advanced cardiac facility in Britain or some other developed country in view of his condition. Lack of fresh air in the jail was hampering blood circulation in his cardiac veins, they argued.

Mr Gill alleged the PML-N was regrettably doing politics on the health of Nawaz Sharif. He said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf believed in justice and equal treatment to every citizen. The Punjab government was providing all possible facilities to Mr Nawaz Sharif as per jail rules, he claimed.

The spokesperson said he had met Mr Sharif and conveyed him the messages of the prime minister and the chief minister.

“The Punjab government is willing to provide medical facilities from any private or public hospital of his (Nawaz’s) choice and it has written a letter in this regard in which all these options were given,” he said.

Replying to a question, he said Mr Sharif was awaiting his bail and following that he intended to go abroad for treatment, adding that the court had to decide the matter.

BILAWAL BHUTTO: The Punjab home department allowed the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to visit Nawaz Sharif in jail to inquire after him.

Sources said Bilawal was scheduled to meet Mr Sharif at 5pm on Saturday, but the visit was postponed due to security reasons.

Now, the PPP chairman and some of his party men would visit Mr Sharif between 2pm and 4pm on Monday.

KHWAJA ASIF: PML-N central leader MNA Khwaja Muhammad Asif (also former foreign minister) criticised the PTI government for not providing the much-needed medical treatment to Nawaz Sharif, our Sialkot correspondent adds.

Talking to the media in Sialkot, Khwaja Asif said the PTI had been meting out inhuman treatment to Mr Sharif. He said he met Mr Sharif in Lahore on Friday and found him in poor health.

Mr Sharif, nevertheless, refused to be shifted to any hospital because of the way he was handled in two different hospitals where he was taken one after another in the recent past.

He alleged that the PTI government was playing with the life of Mr Sharif by denying him better and advanced medical treatment. The PTI government intended to take all political advantages of the ailment of Mr Sharif, he added.

He said the PTI government was reluctant to acknowledge the seriousness of Mr Sharif’s ailment as it had done in the case of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.

He warned that any harm to Nawaz Sharif would lead to a violent turn of events in the political scene of Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2019