Sat, 30 May 2020

Islamabad [Pakistan], Nov 8 (ANI): Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has agreed to travel to London for treatment of his medical ailments and will proceed once the government gives a nod for his travel abroad.

"Nawaz Sharif has finally agreed to go to London after the doctors told him categorically that they had already exhausted all medical treatment [options] available in Pakistan and going abroad is the only option left," a Sharif family source told Dawn on Thursday.

Subsequently, the source said, Sharif's party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had shared with the ruling PTI government the doctors' recommendations regarding the supremo's travel abroad.

"In light of the doctors' reports, the government is likely to remove Mr Sharif's name from the Exit Control List (ECL) in a day or two, enabling him to leave the country," he added.

The source also said that Sharif might leave for London this week if his name was removed from the ECL.

"Though Mr Sharif was not ready to go abroad after the recommendations of the medical board of the Services Hospital and the medics of the Sharif Medical City and the 'request' of his family members, he has finally agreed," the source was quoted as saying.

The source stated further that Sharif's daughter, Maryam Nawaz, would not go with her father as she had surrendered her passport to the Lahore High Court as surety against the bail granted to her in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

"At the moment Nawaz Sharif's health matters more as he is fighting for his life. Maryam Nawaz may explore the option of going to London to look after her father later," he added.

According to doctors, Sharif's health conditions deteriorated drastically due to "critically" low platelet count that has dropped to 24,000.

Doctors noted that 50,000 platelets and beyond are required for a patient to be declared fit for [air] travel. When asked that Sharif's platelet count should be 50,000 and beyond for travel abroad, the source said the doctors might give him a high dose to increase his platelets, enabling him to undertake the travel.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister retired Brig Ijaz Shah has already hinted at allowing Mr Sharif to go abroad.

"If going abroad for treatment is the only option for Nawaz Sharif, then the government will find a way," he had said.

The former prime minister was shifted to an intensive care unit (ICU) set up at his Jati Umra residence from the Services Hospital on Wednesday. His party said that the specialised ICU was set up at the residence on "doctors' recommendations" and Sharif Medical City's doctors would be available there round the clock.

Maryam Nawaz, who had been given special permission by the Punjab government to stay at the Services Hospital to look after her father, also left for Jati Umra in Raiwind after having been released on bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case on Wednesday.

During the course of treatment at the Services Hospital, the former premier had also suffered an angina attack, besides complaints of bleeding from gums and some other parts, because of his fluctuating platelets.

The Islamabad High Court had last week 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. (ANI)

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