The ball is now in the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N)’s court regarding former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s health, said Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.
Awan, the special assistant to the prime minister on information and broadcasting, was speaking with media representatives outside the Islamabad High Court.
“Politics can continue but Nawaz Sharif’s health is more important,” she told reporters.
On Wednesday, the Imran Khan government had announced that it would allow the former premier to fly to the United Kingdom for medical treatment, provided that he submits indemnity bonds worth Rs7bn and makes a commitment that he would return to Pakistan and face the corruption cases against him.
Awan said that the laws of the Exit Control List (ECL) do not allow for a convict to leave the country, “but as an out-of-the-box solution and on the basis of humanity, Prime Minister Imran Khan has agreed to give him [Sharif] a one-time waiver”.
Sharif, the head of the PML-N, is currently at his residence in Lahore.
Last month, he was rushed to a hospital after his health worsened.
Sharif is suffering from multiple health complications and requires medical tests which are not available in Pakistan.
“Despite political differences, when the prime minister found out that a person’s life is in danger, he advised all spokespersons to not (play) politics on Nawaz Sharif’s health,” Awan added.
Meanwhile, PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif – Nawaz Sharif’s brother – has likened the government’s demand for indemnity bonds to asking for ransom.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore, he said the Sharif family has decided to approach the high court.
“Our lawyers are in court at the moment with the petitions,” he said.
“Narrow mindedness of Imran Khan and his team has made a human issue a political one, which is highly condemnable,” Shehbaz said. “Nawaz is facing these issues bravely.”
The PML-N leader continued: “The Lahore High Court granted Nawaz bail and allowed him to travel abroad. We cannot accept this indemnity bond condition on any cost.”
Shehbaz further urged that it was high time we stopped doing politics on Sharif’s health. “I did not think there would be such bitter politics done on someone’s health.”
“It is not just me who think politics is being done on Nawaz’s health. Even a minister from Karachi accepted that politics was being done on his health,” he said.
“When Imran Khan was injured, Nawaz Sharif himself went to the hospital to inquire about his health. The government doctors themselves have said that Nawaz’s treatment was not possible in Pakistan, but despite that, a humanitarian issue was being made into a political one,” he said.
The PML-N leader added the former three-time prime minister returned to the country immediately after the Avenfield reference was announced.
“When the Avenfield verdict was announced last year on July 6, 2018, Nawaz was with his ailing wife. Six days later he was in the country, where he was locked up in Adiala prison.”
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