LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party have accused the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government of not providing adequate health facilities to their leaders — Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari — saying ‘selected’ Prime Minister Imran Khan will be responsible if anything happens to them.
Expressing concern over the government’s apathetic attitude towards the health of Nawaz Sharif, PML-N president and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif alleged that the PTI government was not providing adequate health facilities to the former prime minister and even denied him cardiac ambulance.
“This is the worst kind of political revenge. Depriving a patient of treatment is tantamount to killing him,” he said, adding that Imran Niazi would be responsible if anything happened to Nawaz Sharif.
PML, PPP warn that if anything happens to their jailed leaders, ‘selected’ PM will be responsible
Dr Adnan Khan, a personal physician of the former prime minister, has written to the Punjab chief secretary, asking the provincial government to provide Mr Sharif specialised medical care round the clock. He said Mr Sharif had not been provided adequate “medical facilities to cope with multiple co-morbidities which cannot be treated from within the jail premises”.
Dr Khan said the Punjab Prisons Department cognizant of the inadequate medical facilities had sought a specialised cardiac ambulance from government institutions which was denied. He cited a media report saying “a request of the Punjab Prisons Department seeking a specialised cardiac ambulance has been denied by two government hospitals [Punjab Institute of Cardiology and Services Institute of Medical Sciences] due to excessive medical cover that is being provided to VIPs, VVIPs, foreign delegations and honorable members of the provincial assembly, and judiciary and their families”.
“Mr Sharif’s multiple co-morbidities include ischernic heart disease, cardiac conduction defects (LBBB/heart blocks), chronic kidney disease (stage 3), extracranial carotid and vertebral artery disease (carotid artery stenosis), extracardiac atherosclerotic vascular disease (renal artery stenosis/PAD), diabetes mellitus, hypertension and pathological lymphadenopathy. And he requires constant medical attention and the jail authorities must be prepared to tackle any cardiac/medical emergency he may encounter,” Dr Khan said.
He said Mr Sharif’s health could be affected during imprisonment. “Restrictions on access to proper medical care during incarceration are violative of his constitutional rights to life, dignity and equality. It is requested that proper medical facilities and care be provided to Mr Sharif,” he demanded.
PPP secretary general Nayyar Hussain Bokhari and information secretary Dr Nafisa Shah expressed concern over former president Asif Zardari’s health and said he should be under medical care immediately.
They said the PTI government should not play with someone’s life. The court should take notice of this mistreatment as ‘selected’ PM Khan was misusing his authority by targeting his political opponents.
“Selected PM wants PPP chairman Bilawal’s voice to be silenced as he always speaks the truth which is why the PTI government is concerned. This is not the first time that the PPP leadership has suffered in jails and that this will only strengthen the party’s resolve to fight tyranny,” Ms Shah said.
Nawaz Sharif is serving seven-year imprisonment in Kot Lakhpat jail in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case, while Asif Zardari is on judicial remand in Adiala jail in the fake bank accounts case.
Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2019