ISLAMABAD / LAHORE: A top government aide has said that the government has given ailing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif permission to go abroad for the treatment of his medical condition which his medics say is not treatable in Pakistan.
“The government has no issue if he flies abroad for treatment. Now, it’s for the court to decide whether to give Nawaz Sharif one-time or two-time permission to travel abroad for treatment,” said Naeemul Haq, the special assistant to the prime minister on political affairs, on Friday, according to Geo TV and Dawn News.
The Sharif family is said to be consulting doctors in the United Kingdom and the United States to find the best treatment. Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of the ailing politician, says her father should be taken wherever best treatment facilities are available.
“Mian Sahib’s condition is very critical,” she said, adding that it was painful not accompany her ailing father as her passport is with the court which has granted her bail to look after Nawaz Sharif. “Right now my most pressing concern is Mian Sahib’s health, not politics,” said Maryam Nawaz, who is also vice president of the main opposition party – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Maryam said her uncle Shehbaz Sharif was handling the matter of getting Nawaz’s name struck off the no-fly list.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the government will allow the former premier to leave the country for medical treatment in the United Kingdom but warned him against seeking a second period of exile to escape corruption charges.
“Doctors are recommending that he perhaps needs to go abroad for further examination,” Qureshi told Reuters in an interview. “If that is what the medical treatment requires, the government has been positive. The prime minister has said everything possible should be done to show his life is protected.”
The foreign minister urged Nawaz to return to complete his sentence. “If their hands are clean, why should they be running away?” he said. “I hope he recovers. When he recovers, why should he be sticking around in London? There’s no logic, there’s no reason for that.”
Earlier in the day, the Sharif family formally approached the Interior Ministry seeking removal of Nawaz’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL) after its ailing patriarch acquiesced to fly abroad for treatment of his medical condition.
The three-time former prime minister, who was diagnosed with a bleeding disorder – idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura – late last month, had been shifted to his home in Raiwind on the edge of Lahore earlier this week.
A request has been submitted to the interior secretary, seeking removal of Nawaz’s name from the ECL to pave way for him to fly abroad for treatment of his ITP.
The Interior Ministry sought opinion from Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, the chairman of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) who reportedly gave his opinion after holding consultations with legal aides on the matter. Nawaz’s name will be struck off the ECL after NAB’s approval.
NAB sources told Express News that the former premier will likely be given ‘one-time’ permission to go abroad – similar to the one given to his brother Shehbaz Sharif earlier this year.
Nawaz was granted bail on medical grounds by the Lahore High Court (LHC) in a NAB investigation into the Chaudhry Sugar Mills reference, while the Islamabad High Court (IHC) approved eight-week suspension of his seven-year sentence awarded to him by an accountability court in the Al Azizia Hill Metal Establishment corruption reference.
The 69-year-old supremo of his eponymous faction of Pakistan Muslim League was first taken to Lahore’s Services Hospital last month after his health deteriorated. He was discharged on Wednesday after Maryam was also granted bail in the NAB inquiry into the Chaudhry Sugar Mills reference.
Subsequently, Nawaz was driven to his Raiwind residence where an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has been set up under the supervision his personal physician Dr Adnan Malik.
PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Thursday that medics have exhausted all the options available in the country – but to little avail and now the former premier has to be flown abroad for better treatment.
“Doctors have declared Mian Sahib’s [Nawaz’s} state as extremely critical. Despite all possible treatments in Pakistan, his condition is not improving and his platelet level is not stabilising,” added Marriyum.
Nawaz’s medical condition
Nawaz was diagnosed with ITP at the Services Hospital. ITP is an immune disorder that can lead to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding. According to Mayo Clinic, the bleeding results from unusually low levels of platelets — the cells that help blood clot.
The symptoms include easy or excessive bruising, superficial bleeding into the skin that appears as pinpoint-sized reddish-purple spots (petechiae) that look like a rash – usually on the lower legs, bleeding from the gums or nose.
During his hospital stay, the former prime minister underwent a five-day Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg) – which, according to Harvard Medical School, is primarily used to treat other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.
The former prime minister also suffered an angina attack during his hospitalisation and also suffers from diabetes.__Tribune.com