ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The federal cabinet’s subcommittee has finally decided to allow former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to go abroad for treatment for four weeks.
"Nawaz Sharif will be allowed to go abroad for four weeks on one-time condition," stated Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem who presided over the sub-committee meeting. The subcommittee has also set condition that Nawaz Sharif or his brother Shehbaz Sharif should deposit Rs7 billion as indemnity bond.
Farogh said the interior ministry had received a request from PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif for the removal of Nawaz’s name from ECL. Along with the application, a detailed medical report from Sharif Medical City hospital was also submitted. The report was cross-checked and verified by the Punjab medical board.
The report showed that Sharif has a blood disorder, while his platelet count was between 30,000 to 25,000 when it should have been around 150,000 or above. He had also suffered a stroke.
The minister said that three meetings were held on November 12 and the sub-committee had informed the cabinet that Nawaz Sharif’s medical condition is very serious. Besides the blood platelets issue, Nawaz suffers from numerous cardiac problems and has undergone six heart procedures in which seven stents were inserted.
Keeping Sharif’s deteriorating condition in view, the subcommittee has given him one-time permission to travel abroad but his name is not being permanently removed from the Exit Control List (ECL).
Farogh Naseem said final decision on subcommittee’s recommendation will be taken anytime by the federal cabinet today, after which, Sharif will be allowed to leave the country.
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) expressed dissatisfaction over the decision, stating that how can someone guarantee that Nawaz Sharif’s health will recover within four weeks. Terming the subcommittee’s indemnity bond condition as unlawful, the PML-N said that surety bonds have already been deposited in the courts.
“Decision of the cabinet’s subcommittee is beyond comprehension,” the party said.
According to source, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif has stated consultations with Sharif family and senior members of the party. A formal response will be given later on.
Sharif, 69, was admitted to the Services Hospital in Lahore on October 22 from Kot Lakhpat Jail after his platelets dropped to a critically low level of 2,000.
The Islamabad High Court had granted bail to Sharif for eight weeks, suspending his seven-year sentence in the Al Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference on medical grounds. Earlier, he had also secured bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case from the Lahore High Court on the same ground.
The medical board formed by the government had earlier suggested allowing the ailing former prime minister to seek medical treatment abroad.