LAHORE: At a time when some federal and Punjab cabinet members are clamouring for bringing back former prime minister Nawaz Sharif from London, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has also been embroiled into the controversy surrounding `doctored medical reports’.
Passing the buck on to the NAB regarding the alleged ‘fake’ laboratory reports of Mr Sharif, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has opened a new Pandora’s box by demanding that the bureau should be investigated first.
NAB contested Dr Rashid’s statement saying it has not recruited or hired doctors.
Talking to a private TV channel, Dr Rashid said during detention, former PM’s primary blood samples and reports were managed by the bureau itself. “NAB should also be investigated for preparing his first report... from which laboratory it got it,” she said.
Talking to Dawn, a NAB official said on Monday that the bureau was an investigation agency which did not have its own doctors.
“NAB recruits investigation officers, prosecutors and some experts of different fields but doctors have never been hired by NAB ever. Rather, we request the government to depute doctors for routine medical check-up of suspects and also seek services of dedicated duty doctors for any emergency,” he said.
The official further said for transportation of suspect(s) to hospital, a Rescue 1122 vehicle remains standby round the clock.
“Doctors deputed at the NAB office in Lahore belong to the Punjab government. First pathological test report (of Nawaz Sharif) was sought by the Services Hospital, Lahore, which verified and affirmed critical decline in platelet count of Mr Sharif. After receiving that government hospital report, NAB rushed Mr Sharif to the Services Hospital for further laboratory tests and medical treatment,” the official said.
A Punjab government-constituted medical board headed by Services Institute of Medical Sciences Principal Prof Dr Mahmood Ayaz had recommended in November 2019 treatment of Mr Sharif abroad, keeping in view complications of his disease.
The doctors’ panel had come to a unanimous decision that since the complete genetic test facility was not available in Pakistan, “the patient requires treatment abroad”.
Dr Yasmin Rashid said that the medical board doctors had collected the blood samples of Mr Sharif and got them tested.
“I don’t think there was any fishy thing in this regard. However I believe that his (Sharif) treatment could have been done here and he should return home now,” she said.
Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2020