PM Imran seeks report on Nawaz's health from Punjab govt, 'wishes him well'

Updated October 23, 2019

Email

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan. — DawnNewsTV/File
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan. — DawnNewsTV/File

The government's chief spokesperson, Firdous Ashiq Awan on Wednesday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the Punjab government "to ensure that Nawaz Sharif gets the best possible care in accordance with the wishes of his family".

In a post on Twitter, she said that the prime minister had sought a detailed report from the Punjab government regarding the former premier's health.

Awan further said that the premier had "prayed for Sharif and wished him a speedy recovery".

Nawaz was shifted to Services Hospital late on Monday night after his condition deteriorated which was confirmed by his fresh examination conducted by the government.

The head of the multidisciplinary medical board at the Services Hospital, Professor Dr Mahmood Ayaz, told DawnNewsTV that the former premier's body had experienced a drastic drop in the cells that are responsible for coagulation of blood (platelets).

"Yesterday we had carried out a transfusion of platelets. Today, his condition has improved measurably. Our board convened today and has recommended some more tests. We will be in a better position to comment once those results are in," he said.

When asked whether the board has been able to ascertain why Nawaz had experienced such a sudden drop in platelets, Dr Ayaz replied in the negative, saying that blood tests had been ordered for that very purpose.

"The board will convene again this evening. We hold meetings twice or thrice a day so that there is nothing lacking in his diagnosis and subsequent treatment."

Dr Ayaz said that the platelet count was being monitored and that if it is deemed necessary, another transfusion will be done to maintain the desired level of platelets.

He said that Nawaz's health, otherwise, "is just fine".

NAB condemns 'irresponsible, baseless allegations'

In a press release issued today, the National Accountability Bureau "strongly condemned the irresponsible and baseless allegations" that Nawaz's transfer to the hospital had been delayed.

"As soon as Nawaz Sharif was shifted from Kot Lakhpat Jail to the sub-jail in Lahore, in order to combat any emergency medical situation, a modern cardiac ambulance had been arranged from the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) along with three doctors.

"Furthermore, certified doctors had been placed for round-the-clock availability at the NAB Lahore dispensary and we had already obtained Rescue 1122 ambulance services," said the NAB statement.

The anti-corruption watchdog said it "strongly rejects" all such "baseless, fabricated, and contrary to the truth political propaganda" that suggests otherwise.

NAB also rejected the notion that Nawaz was not allowed to meet with his personal physician Dr Adnan or to seek treatment.

The Bureau recounted the three times Dr Adnan had met Nawaz: October 11, 19 and 21 during which it said samples for various tests had also been collected.

"It is medication prescribed by Dr Adnan alone that Nawaz Sharif has been regularly taking. These were sent on a daily basis in a packet along with food," said the statement.

NAB, in its statement, also said that Nawaz had himself elected not to avail the medical facilities at standby for his use, including doctors, paramedical staff, ambulances, etc.

"He remained averse, whilst in NAB's custody in Lahore, to a checkup by any doctor other than Dr Adnan. Even to obtain blood samples, special paramedical staff from Sharif Medical Complex was called over.

"Therefore the allegations to the contrary made by certain elements are nothing more than a figment of one's imagination."

The Bureau, in its statement, sought to clarify that on Monday, while Dr Adnan alerted NAB at 8:41pm of unsatisfactory lab results, he failed to provide a copy of the reports, and it was only through his tweet at 9pm that the results were known.

NAB said that as soon as it sprung into action to shift Nawaz to the hospital, Nawaz kept on vehemently opposing the move. It noted that the formation of a board, arrangement of a special room along with a special route for the journey was all arranged expeditiously and Shahbaz Sharif was given permission to meet him upon which Nawaz agreed to go.

"More than an hour was then spent in preparation to go to the hospital, including packing etc," said the statement, adding, "All the details are available on record."

'Callous, fascist government'

PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, in a rebuttal to the statement by Awan, said that she (Marriyum) "does not even consider it worth her time to respond to it".

"These rented representatives are not worth it; it is better to not respond to them," she said.

Speaking about NAB, Aurangzeb said that the Bureau "is not MBBS qualified and cannot do everything it wishes to do".

She confirmed that tests were being carried out to investigate the drop in Nawaz's platelet levels. "We had alerted authorities many times about his failing health, but they turned a blind eye to the matter each time."

"The current government is a callous, fascist government," said the PML-N leader, adding, "They have nothing to use by way of Nawaz Sharif's performance during his tenure, and now they are playing political games over his health."