ISLAMABAD: Terming the health condition of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif “seriously unstable” and “fragile”, his brother and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday expressed concern over the government’s refusal to allow Maryam Nawaz to travel to London to join her father who has been suggested another heart procedure by the doctors.
“Mian Sahib was investigated comprehensively at Royal Brompton Hospital, London, for the present cardiac status and to determine the need for intervention. The investigations revealed significant ischemic burden affecting major areas of heart and impaired function as well,” Shahbaz Sharif said in a statement issued from London and released to Pakistani media by PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb.
“In view of the unstable state of health of Mian Sahib, Maryam Nawaz should be allowed to join her father. The more time is passing, the less is the space for intervention,” he added.
Says his brother’s health ‘unstable, fragile’; minister opposes any relief to ex-PM’s daughter without plea bargain
Responding to Shahbaz Sharif’s statement, federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry once again opposed lifting the ban on Maryam Nawaz’s travel, stating such a move “will be the last nail in the coffin of the PTI’s narrative of accountability”.
He was of the view that Maryam Nawaz can only be allowed to travel after a plea bargain.
Shahbaz Sharif stated that the cardiologist twice planned the procedure called cardiac catheterisation, but it had to be rescheduled since Maryam Nawaz could not join her father.
“The health condition of Nawaz Sharif remains seriously unstable. He has had to get his procedure rescheduled twice because his daughter, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, who wanted to be with him, was not allowed to leave Pakistan,” said Shahbaz Sharif, who has been living with his brother in London for more than one month.
Shahbaz Sharif, who is the also opposition leader in the National Assembly, said his brother’s health condition had been fragile due to complexity of various life-threatening diseases as he was suffering from significant heart disease, for which he had undergone multiple procedures earlier, besides two open heart surgeries.
The PML-N president said that Kulsoom Nawaz had passed away at a time when Nawaz Sharif was imprisoned with his daughter. He said the pain of losing his life-long partner and companion had adversely impacted Nawaz Sharif’s health.
During the most difficult time of his life, he said, Maryam Nawaz had been a sheet-anchor and a source of strength for Nawaz Sharif. “It is indeed deplorable that she is not being allowed to proceed to look after her father.”
Shahbaz Sharif his brother had been elected prime minister of Pakistan thrice and his contribution to national economy and defence had been incredible. He said that Nawaz Sharif in compliance with the accountability court’s decision had flown to Pakistan from the UK with his daughter to be jailed despite having reservations on the original court verdict against him.
“His right to appropriate medical treatment needs to be respected,” he said.
Dr Adnan Khan, the personal physician of Nawaz Sharif, stated that the former prime minister was scheduled to undergo a coronary intervention on Jan 30 and then on Feb 6 (today), but the procedure had once again been delayed to a later date.
“Mr Sharif requested it to be rescheduled for this Thursday as his daughter Maryam Nawaz wanted to be with him at the time of the procedure and was not allowed to travel. Now, once again, the procedure is being postponed for a later date for the same reason,” Dr Khan said in a series of tweets.
He said the procedure was vital for the life and good health of the former premier.
Dr Adnan added: “Cardiac Catheterization/Coronary Intervention is of utmost importance for former PM’s health and life. Any undue delay is taxing his health and could have adverse consequences. Maryam Nawaz must be with her father at the time of this complicated high risk cardiac intervention.”
He said purely on humanitarian grounds, Maryam Nawaz, who is also PML-N vice president, should be permitted to be with her father.
Nawaz Sharif is currently in London for medical treatment. While Maryam Nawaz had sought permission to go abroad to be with her father, the federal cabinet in December last year decided not to remove her name from the Exit Control List (ECL) in the Al Azizia Steel Mills reference.
On Jan 14, the federal cabinet placed her name on the ECL for the second time in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.
On Dec 23, 2019, Nawaz Sharif 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 Sharif at a London restaurant with some members of his family had surfaced on social media, raising questions about his health condition.
On Jan 15, the Punjab government rejected Nawaz Sharif’s medical reports which had been submitted on Dec 23.
The Punjab government has now asked Nawaz Sharif to submit fresh medical reports so that a decision on his request seeking more time abroad could be made.
Federal Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry, through his official account on Twitter, said the departure of Nawaz Sharif from the country, weak prosecution by the National Accountability Bureau and reliefs provided by courts had damaged the narrative of accountability.
“Under these circumstances, if Maryam Nawaz is allowed to go abroad, then it will be the last nail in the coffin of the narrative of the accountability. If Maryam Nawaz goes without a plea bargain, then the gates of all the jails of Pakistan should be opened,” he concluded.
Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2020