ISLAMABAD: Terming it a violation of basic human rights, Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari on Friday lashed out at the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government for shifting former president Asif Ali Zardari from the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to Adiala jail despite having serious cardiac problems and warned that if anything happened to Mr Zardari then the Pakistan Peoples Party would hold the “selected government” responsible.
Addressing a press conference at Zardari House, Ms Bhutto-Zardari said that she went to meet her father in hospital but was not allowed to meet him. She lamented that instead of being given medical treatment, the former president was shifted to Adiala jail.
She was accompanied by PPP leaders Sherry Rehman, Raja Pervez Ashraf and Farhatullah Babar.
Ms Bhutto-Zardari said that the doctors had informed her that they were pressurised to shift Mr Zardari back to Adiala jail. “But the health condition of Zardari sahib required him to stay in hospital for further tests and treatment. Two medical examinations were conducted, one by NAB and second by judicial authorities. Both examinations clearly showed that he needed medical attention and treatment,” she said.
“Three of his (Zardari’s) arteries of heart are completely blocked. He is suffering from severe spinal issues and other ailments,” she added. “Denial of medical right is denial of human rights and justice. It is political victimisation,” she said.
In a series of tweets, she said: “I went to see my father today, with a Court order in hand. Hospital doors were locked when they saw me, no patients allowed in or out. What authority does this selected government have to shut down an entire hospital and deny patients and citizens entry.”
“Finally managed to enter only to find police blocking stairs and elevators. Waited for my father at the elevators when police decided to form a chain to stop me for seeing him. Stopped, Pushed, manhandled by police. Is this Madina ki riyasat?” she added.
“God forbid if something happened to Mr Zardari then we will hold the selected government accountable,” former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said, demanding that the PPP co-chairman be shifted to hospital immediately.
Former senator Farhatullah Babar said that on the day when the ‘selected PM’ was asking people to protest against human rights violations in Kashmir, he had himself violated the basic rights of a former president and warned that he should be ready to bear the same when the time comes.
Senator Sherry Rehman said that there would be consequences if the selected government did not give up its conduct and warned that they will have to face resistance by the PPP.
Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2019