LHC told Nawaz’s condition ‘serious’; court to reconvene at 3pm

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Shafaqna Pakistan:The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday adjourned until 3pm the hearing of a bail petition filed by PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif for the release of former premier Nawaz Sharif from the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on medical grounds.

After the prosecution and defence had concluded their arguments in the case, the court asked Punjab Advocate General Ahmed Jamal Sukhera, who was representing the provincial government, if Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz’s names were placed on the Exit Control List. Sukhera responded that he can inform the court about the matter by 3pm after which the LHC adjourned the hearing.

A two-member bench, headed by Justice Baqar Najafi, had heard the petition. The anti-corruption watchdog’s prosecutor told the court that “every life, including that of Nawaz Sharif, is precious”, adding that the former premier’s condition was treatable.

After a struggle of three days, a six-member medical board, headed by Services Hospital Principal Ayaz Mahmood, had on Thursday diagnosed the reason for Nawaz’s declining health. “It is acute immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a bleeding disorder, in which the immune system destroys platelets,” a board member had told Dawn yesterday. “We are hopeful that his condition will improve in a few days.”

Doctors have said that the disease is treatable.

Today, Dr Ayaz submitted a detailed medical report of the former premier. He told the court that a medical board, which also includes Nawaz’s personal physician, meets twice everyday to discuss the PML-N supremo’s condition.

Nawaz’s lawyer Ashtar Ausaf told the court today that the former premier’s condition was “extremely serious”.

Dr Ayaz told the court that Nawaz’s platelet count was constantly reducing, adding that the hospital had conducted tests to see if Nawaz was suffering from dengue.

“We inject platelets every day but they destruct every day,” Dr Ayaz said and added: “Something or the other is destroying Nawaz Sharif’s platelets.”

He said that steroids will have to be injected in order to treat Nawaz.

“We have to conduct a bone marrow test but we cannot inject a needle in Nawaz Sharif’s bone.”

Dr Ayaz informed the court that Nawaz is a diabetes patient and is suffering from several other ailments as well.

The bench told the doctor to apprise the court about Nawaz’s recent condition by 12pm and adjourned the hearing until later in the day.

An accountability court had earlier this month granted NAB a 14-day physical remand of Nawaz in connection with the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case. The remand expired today.

IHC questions risk to Nawaz’s health
Meanwhile, a two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard Shehbaz’s petition seeking the suspension of Nawaz’s sentence in the Al-Azizia case and release on bail.

During the proceedings, Services Hospital Medical Superintendent (MS) Dr Saleem Cheema, who is a member of the medical board, said that Nawaz’s condition was dangerous.

The judge pointed out that the situation was not described as dangerous in the report. Dr Cheema, however, clarified that it had been mentioned towards the end of the report, which was presented in court.

The doctor said that the former premier’s ailment had not yet been diagnosed, adding that while platelets were being formed, the levels were also falling. He said that they have to conduct some tests but can only do so once Nawaz’s health improves.

Justice Kayani asked if the former premier was being provided with the best treatment, to which the doctor replied in the affirmative.

The IHC judge asked if there was a threat to the former premier’s life, in response to which Dr Cheema said: “If he doesn’t receive immediate treatment, his life is in danger.”

He added that Nawaz’s personal physician Dr Adnan Khan was aware of the situation.

“Is there any risk factor? Is this a fatal disease?” asked Justice Kayani, to which Dr Cheema responded: “If it is not treated.”

Justice Farooq said that doctors are the best judges in this situation and they can provide the correct information regarding the medical treatment.

The hearing was adjourned till Tuesday as the court asked Dr Adnan Khan what his concerns were, adding that if he wanted he could attend the hearing or submit his concerns in writing.

Concluding the proceedings, Justice Kayani said that they were not medical experts and the doctors would have to explain whether there was a threat to Nawaz’s life.

He said that Nawaz could not be granted bail on a legal basis; however, the court was looking at the petition on basis of the former premier’s medical condition.

Accountability court hearing
Meanwhile, an accountability court in Lahore, where a hearing of the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case was held, demanded Nawaz’s report by 1pm today.

NAB produced Maryam Nawaz and Yousuf Abbas, both of whom are named in the case, before the accountability court. The court extended their judicial remand until November 8 and adjourned the hearing till then.