LAHORE: Against the recommendation of the medical board, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been shifted from the Services Hospital back to Kot Lakhpat Jail.
“Former premier Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has been shifted back to Kot Lakhpat Jail on his own will and his family’s insistence,” said Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hasan Chohan while addressing the media on Thursday.
Chohan said it was not the wish of the government but the repeated demand of his family, adding that Nawaz was taken to the Services Hospital on the recommendation of a special medical board that advised he be shifted to a hospital where multidisciplinary care was available given his multiple health problems.
“The Services Hospital is fully equipped with all required medical facilities sans cardiac health facility, but given the state-of-the-art Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) next door, those facilities would have been made available for Nawaz round the clock,” said the provincial minister. “So the impression created by the Sharif family that Nawaz is not being treated at the correct hospital is ill-founded.”
When asked if the government was considering paying heed to the demands of the Sharif family, why did the Punjab Chief Minister spokesperson Dr Shehbaz Gill, in a video message on Wednesday, say the government would act upon the advice of the medical board and not on the demand of the Sharif family, he replied that the government could not force the Sharif family to take medical facilities.
In the video message, Dr Gill said the provincial government, in view of the health report submitted by the medical board, decided to extend Nawaz’s stay at the Services Hospital, where he would be checked by heart specialists from PIC.
Dr Gill said the decision regarding Nawaz’s further treatment would also be taken on the recommendation of the medical board after his examination by PIC doctors, adding that the Sharif family had no say in this matter.
“Nawaz Sharif is a prisoner and will be dealt with as per the rules and not on anybody’s desires and wishes,” he added.
Surprisingly, the provincial government has not accepted that Nawaz was ever offered to be shifted to PIC from Services Hospital whereas the recommendations of the medical board were to shift Nawaz to the cardiac ward for a specialised heart treatment.
According to senior government officials, the decision was taken in view of the best interest of both the political parties.
They said for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the interest was to dispel the impression of any relaxation or any deal, whereas for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the impression of Nawaz being given any relaxation in the shape of time off from jail was damaging its rhetoric of across-the-board accountability.
Nawaz was seen off to Kot Lakhpat Jail from Services Hospital by his daughter Maryam Nawaz and other family members.
Before leaving, Nawaz also waived to the party workers, who were chanting slogans in his name.
Earlier in the day, Nawaz’s mother also visited him at Kot Lakhpat jail.
Speaking to the media, she prayed that may Allah help Nawaz and give him good health.
Maryam, also for the first time since Nawaz was moved to the Services Hospital, formally addressed the media.
She said, “Mian Nawaz Sharif, on his demand, has been shifted back to jail due to the non-serious behaviour of the government in providing him proper health facilities.
“Mian Nawaz Sharif was not admitted to the hospital to avail any facilities, instead he was here due to his medical condition.”
She said one after another medical boards were created for Nawaz and all suggested him to be treated for his heart problem, adding that despite recommendations of all the boards, he was shifted to a hospital with no cardiac ward.
She said from jail to PIC, from PIC to jail, from jail to Services Hospital and from Services Hospital, the government again tried to move Nawaz to PIC. “We are not at the hospital to be ridiculed nor do we need any mercy plea from the government.”
She said that Nawaz was brought to the hospital due to his old medical condition and some newly-developed ones.