Punjab govt awaits Nawaz's fresh medical report to decide on his plea to stay abroad longer

Published January 30, 2020
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif is currently in London for medical treatment. — AFP/File
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif is currently in London for medical treatment. — AFP/File

The Punjab government has given former prime minister Nawaz Sharif till tomorrow to submit fresh medical reports, adding that in the case of a failure to do so, they would decide on his application — seeking an extension in his stay abroad — on the basis of existing records, it emerged on Thursday.

A letter written by the provincial home department, dated January 28, stated: "It is, therefore, required from your side to provide requisite reports within next three days, failing thereby, the competent authority will decide the matter of your application as per the available facts brought on record."

The PML-N supremo is currently in London for medical treatment.

On December 23, 2019, he had sought an extension in his stay abroad on the expiry of the four-week period granted by the Lahore High Court. Following his request, the Punjab government constituted a four-member committee to decide on it and sought fresh medical reports to make an "informed decision".

Earlier this month, a picture of Nawaz at a London restaurant along with some members of his family had surfaced on social media raising questions about the condition of the former premier's health. Following this, on January 15, the Punjab government had rejected Nawaz's medical reports which had been submitted on December 23.

The Punjab government's latest letter was written with regards to Nawaz's application under Section 401(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1898.

As per the home department, Nawaz's medical reports, submitted by his counsel Khawaja Haris, had been forwarded to the medical board, which concluded that they were "not sufficient to form a conclusive opinion".

Following this, Haris was asked to submit the latest medical records in a letter dated January 6.

"In response thereto, your counsel requested this department to approach you directly or your personal physician. So, your physician was requested through email to provide the requisite medical reports as desired by the special medical report," the letter stated.

It added that Nawaz, Haris and PML-N Deputy Secretary General Advocate Attaullah Tarar were once again on January 13 asked to provide the latest medical record, which the latter submitted.

The home department shared the medical board's conclusions regarding the records which they said only summarised his cardiac imaging, echocardiography, holter monitoring and cardiac PET.

According to the Punjab government, Nawaz's haematological and biochemical reports, especially platelet count, were not provided.

"The board would like to know, his [Complete Blood Count] CBC, kidney functions, bone marrow studies (if done), whole body PET scan as well as the plan by treating haematologist in order to stabilise you for necessary interventions.”

An additional letter was written on January 18 requesting medical reports, in response to which, Tarar had written a letter saying that the reports would be shared "in due course as and when they are provided by the consulting medical professional".

"However, response from your side or from any of your representatives is still awaited even after passing of eight days," the letter stated, asking Nawaz to submit the medical reports within three days.

Taking to Twitter, Dr Khan on Wednesday said: "Former PM Nawaz Sharif had pre-admission evaluation and investigations. The hospitalisation is planned and finalised in coming week to a cardiac centre of an NHS Trust Hospital."

"He will undergo cardiac catheterization/coronary intervention to treat complex coronary artery disease," he added.

Questions over Nawaz's health

Amid bickering between the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and PML-N, on November 19, 2019, Nawaz reached London for medical treatment.

Earlier this month, Federal Science Minister Fawad Chaudhry uploaded a leaked photo of the former premier at a restaurant on Twitter. Making a satirical comment, Chaudhry said: "In London’s intensive care unit, the treatment against plundering is underway and all patients present (there) are feeling better."

The picture was also reportedly discussed at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.

Speaking to reporters in London, Hussain Nawaz, while commenting on criticism being levelled against his father, said Nawaz had been confined to his house and to hospital visits, but that during the Christmas vacation his hospital visits were not possible.

"The report submitted in LHC says that doctors have advised him to walk twice a day. But despite this advice, Mian sahib could not walk as he experienced shortness of breath and palpitations.

"Yesterday (Sunday) around 4:30pm the family told him you must leave the house and after great persuasion, he agreed. We took him out for a walk and for a breath of fresh air. It is unfortunate that it is being given a political twist. This is part of his treatment. This is why Pakistan’s courts have allowed him to travel abroad for treatment," he said.

Meanwhile, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid on January 14 said reports submitted by the PML-N supremo's team were insufficient.



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