LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Sunday said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif might leave the country after entering into a plea-bargain with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Addressing a press conference along with Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasim Rashid here at the Press Information Department (PID), he said the accountability process against Nawaz Sharif would not stop on the pretext of his bad health, adding that Nawaz Sharif would have to return every penny of the masses only then he could be allowed to leave the country.
He said the leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were doing politics on the health of Nawaz Sharif and trying to halt the ongoing accountability process.
He said Nawaz Sharif would have to bear the brunt of his deeds and he would be held accountable for them, adding that all the cases against Nawaz Sharif were instituted during the past regimes.
Rejecting media reports that Nawaz Sharif was not being provided best medical treatment, he said extraordinary medical facilities are being provided to Nawaz Sharif to treat his cardiac, kidney and diabetes ailments but he had refused to avail himself of the treatment within Pakistan.
He said, recently, Punjab Chief Minister's spokesman Dr Shahbaz Gill alongside senior journalist Mujeebur Rehman Shami met Nawaz Sharif at Kot Lakhpat Jail to offer him the medical treatment of his choice within Pakistan but he declined.
The minister said, despite Nawaz Shairf’s refusal to get treatment in the country, he said the Punjab government had established a mini-cardiac unit at the Kot Lakhpat Jail with three cardiologists and three technicians available round the clock, but Nawaz Sharif had not allowed them any access.
He said, as a matter of fact, Nawaz Sharif did not want to be treated in the country as he did not have faith in the health facilities being provided in the country which he and his brother Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif built over three decades.
The minister recalled the past incident when Imran Khan fell off a staircase during the general elections campaign in 2013 and said it was only Prime Minister Imran Khan who refused to go abroad for treatment and preferred to be treated at Shaukat Khan Memorial Hospital (SKMH), although an air ambulance had been arranged for shifting him abroad for treatment.
He said, similarly, Imran Khan’s late father also got all treatment from Pakistan instead of going abroad.
He said this was the spirit what differentiated between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and PML-N leadership.
Fawad Chaudhry said that Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his family are insisting that he be sent to the hospital in London where the former premier received treatment before.
Fawad alleged that the complications that have come up in Nawaz’ health are because of doctors in London.
The information minister presented a review of the various developments in the former premier’s health over the past few months.
Fawad Chaudhry said that certain tests including a thallium scan were done after which a doctor recommended that Nawaz be shifted to the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) for further tests. On January 22, Sharif was shifted to PIC where he underwent tests.
Following this at 3 30pm on the same day the former premier went back to jail.
The information minister added that on Jan 25 the Punjab Home Department constituted a six-member board including doctors from Lahore and Rawalpindi cardiology hospitals while Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) personnel had also been nominated.
On Jan 30, this board met Nawaz in jail and advised that the former premier be shifted to a hospital due to previous ailments he had suffered. He added that in 2001-02 Nawaz underwent an angioplasty and in 2016 he had a bypass surgery.
Meanwhile in an interview with a private TV channel, Fawad Chaudhry said that no formal negotiations have been held with the United States regarding release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui and no substantive progress has been made regarding this matter. Fawad said, “It is our desire that Dr Aafia should be handed over to Pakistan and she should complete the remaining term in Pakistan which is her right being the Pakistani citizen. Fawad said that Pakistan has signed extradition treaty with Britain but has no such agreement with the United States adding that this depends on the US policy.
Fawad Chaudhry said that Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting is going to be held in June adding, “We will fulfill most of the conditions of FATF and will come out from the gray list in September.” He said that the meeting of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with Nawaz Sharif was meeting between the two disappointed persons. Fawad said that Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari have contested their last elections, however, Bilawal’s politics will continue.
Replying a question Fawad said that the investigations into the suicide of Brigadier (R) Asad Munir should be held so that the causes of suicide could be ascertained. He said that the postmortem of Asad Munir’s body should have been conducted and application of Asad Munir’s family for not conducting the postmortem should have been rejected.