Hussain Nawaz
Hussain Nawaz

LONDON: The son of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo, Hussain Nawaz, on Wednesday criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan and the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) for focusing on settling scores and petty issues instead of matters affecting the public.

“It is incorrect that [Nawaz Sharif’s] medical reports were not submitted to the government. The latest reports have been submitted to the court as well as the relevant government representatives. Despite this, it is unfortunate that press conferences are being held [...] This goes to show that it is Mr Imran Khan’s personal revenge [against Mr Sharif], nothing else,” Mr Hussain said to reporters.

When asked to comment on the issue of Maryam Nawaz’s application to have her name removed from the ECL, he said: “This is the personal score of Imran Khan; can he not see beyond Nawaz Sharif and his daughter? Did he not see the reports of a man who took his life because he could not afford to buy warm clothes for his children? I could not sleep at night when I heard that. Mr Khan should avoid petty politics and focus on the problems affecting the people.”

Mr Hussain’s comments came in the aftermath of bickering among leaders of the ruling PTI and the main opposition party over the London cafe photo. On Tuesday, the PML-N submitted a letter from a leading cardiac surgeon, terming the former premier’s stay in the UK ‘vital’ for his health management.

In the renewed tirade against the Sharif family, Prime Minister Khan joined his cabinet members Firdous Ashiq Awan, Shahzad Akbar and Faisal Vawda besides Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid in criticising Mr Sharif’s health in the wake of the photo.

Says doctors have advised ex-PM to walk twice a day

“The Sharif family is a fraud,” Mr Khan was quoted by a private TV channel as having said in a cabinet meeting in Islamabad. The premier made the comment when he was asked by a cabinet member whether he had seen the restaurant picture of Mr Sharif.

About visit to the café, the PML-N had said that Mr Sharif went out for a “change of environment” on doctors’ advice. They insisted that staying indoors would not be good for his health.

Mr Hussain said doctors had advised his father to walk twice a day. “But despite this advice, Mian sahib could not walk as he experienced breathing problems and palpitations,” he added.

Mr Sharif arrived in London on Nov 19 along with his brother Shahbaz Sharif after the government and courts granted him permission to travel abroad on medical grounds. He and members of his family have consulted several doctors, including those who specialise in cardiac issues and immune disorders.

He arrived in London three weeks after he was granted bail by the Islamabad High Court in the Al-Azizia case on medical grounds.

Mr Sharif is trying to secure an extension in his stay abroad from the Punjab government, which had expressed reservations about the serious nature of his health. On Dec 23, he had sought extension in his stay abroad on the expiry of the four-week period allowed by the court to visit London for medical treatment.

With his application, Mr Sharif attached his medical reports, but the Punjab government sought fresh reports.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2020