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PML-N will wither if Nawaz Sharif doesn't return

PML-N will wither if Nawaz Sharif doesn't return

LAHORE/LONDON: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leaders said on Saturday party supremo Nawaz Sharif would return to the country only after complete recovery, though Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad claimed that the party would split if the ex-premier didn’t come back on the court orders.

Also, the PML-N sources said in London Nawaz Sharif was unlikely to return to Pakistan to meet the Sept 9 deadline, set by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for “surrender” before the court. The PML-N leaders told a press conference here on Saturday the party had decided unanimously that there would be no compromise on the health and life of the party Quaid. He would be requested not to return to the country until doctors give him a fitness certificate, they said. The party leadership also decided to hold an All Parties Conference (APC) on Sept 20 during the National Assembly session.

They suggested Nawaz Sharif should give importance to the opinion of doctors. They said the serious matters, which involved lives, should not be decided in the TV talk shows. Once doctors would give Nawaz Sharif a fitness certificate, he would return to the country without any delay, they said at a joint press conference after a consultative meeting at 180-H Model Town here.

Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, PML-N parliamentary leader Khwaja Asif, Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Azma Bukhari and other office-bearers were present at the party meeting as well as the press conference. The PML-N leaders also called upon the courts to consider the delay in the treatment of patients including Nawaz Sharif due to COVID-19 pandemic, which had further put his life in danger. They expressed their resolve of unity from Gwadar to Gilgit to stand like a rock under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif.

PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal said the economy of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, which started from chicken, eggs, calves and buffaloes, had reached to the cultivation of ‘Bhang’ and opium. Kh Asif said Prime Minister Imran Khan had prepared a plan to push the nation towards drugs.

Ahsan Iqbal said the PTI government gave very irresponsible statements during the treatment of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz and never felt ashamed on her death. He said Nawaz Sharif was a precious asset to Pakistan and millions of party workers, and nobody would be allowed to do politics on his life and health.

He said the court allowed him to go abroad keeping in view of his medical reports. He said everyone knows that after Nawaz Sharif reached London, hospitals were closed due to coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, the treatment of all patients was affected.

Ahsan Iqbal said that a legal team would review strategy under the law, adding that medical reports were being submitted in the court on a regular basis. To another question, Ahsan said the Rahbar Committee had decided to hold the APC on Sept 20 and the meeting would be held during the National Assembly session on the suggestion of PML-N. About sending the PTI rulers packing, he said the PML-N had always given the message of giving sufficient time to the PTI rulers so that they are exposed before the public. Today, people have seen their true colours, whohad showed people greener pastures after PTI came into power.

Meanwhile, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad predicted that PML-N would spilt into two groups if the party supremo Nawaz Sharif did not return to the country soon.

Addressing a press conference at Railways Headquarters here, he claimed that ‘Sheen’ League [Shahbaz League] could take birth from the ‘Noon’ League [Nawaz League] if Nawaz Sharif did not return to the country on the court orders. He claimed that the role of Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari had ended in the politics of Pakistan. To a question, he said Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s politics was limited only to statements now, and not more than that.

About Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Karachi visit, the minister said it would be an achievement if Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the Sindh government and Centre were able to resolve issues of people of Karachi. “Prime Minister’s Karachi visit can bring about big changes in Pakistani politics,” he believed.He reiterated that Imran Khan would complete his term and said that under the current political situation, he (Imran Khan) was the fittest person to rule the country.

About the expected All Parties Conference (APC) of the opposition parties, Sheikh Rashid said it would be a flop show and added that the PML-N and the PPP would never resign from National Assembly nor they have any ability to stage any sit-ins.

The Railways minister said international tenders for Mainline-1 (ML-1) project would be issued on Sept 12. According to him, an amount of Rs10 billion had been received for Karachi Circular Railways’ (KCR) rehabilitation and restoration, adding that the railways has completed an 11-kilometre track so far. Phase one involving the single track would be completed by Sept 30, while the double track would be completed in phase two, he added.

Sh Rashid said that Railways would follow all orders of Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed regarding KCR, and the project would be completed as early as possible.

Regarding the rehabilitation of Hassan Abdal Railway Station, he said that it was an important work due to the presence of Gurdwara Panja Sahib, a sacred place for the Sikhs, so he had directed the relevant officers to complete it as soon as possible. “Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the new building of Hassan Abdal Railway Station in the current month,” he said. The minister said that the Railways would transport wheat and Euro-5 diesel in future.

To a question about the resignation of Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Lt-Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa, he said the premier had rejected his resignation due to his satisfactory performance.

The News learnt from sources in London that Nawaz Sharif had decided to return to Pakistan after his treatment once the normal operational services of the National Health Service (NHS) as well as the private hospitals resume.

Sources said that Nawaz Sharif had been advised by his family, friends and PML-N to not come to Pakistan until he gets clearance from his doctors, following the operation. A Sharif family source said in London that Nawaz Sharif’s illness was a fact, confirmed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. “The central government, the Punjab government and the board appointed by the government looked into health issues of Nawaz Sharif and confirmed that he has serious issues which need treatment abroad. “Those issues remain. Nawaz Sharif was going to undergo a heart operation in London, but all services of the NHS were suspended and currently, no appointments are available. “Nawaz Sharif is eager to return to Pakistan but he will do so when his treatment is done,” added the sources.

When asked what would happen to the Sept 9 deadline, set by the court, the source said that detailed presentation with documents would be placed before the court and other institutions. The NHS hospitals in England were told in March to suspend all non-urgent elective surgeries for at least three months, from April 15 to help the service deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-urgent surgeries remain suspended at most NHS facilities. It is the situation also with the private hospitals, added the source.

Nawaz Sharif was to be operated upon at one of the Harley Street clinics prior to the COVID-19 lockdown. Doctor Irfan Malik, a senior surgeon at a Harley Street clinic, said that elective operations would start again from the middle of Sept, but there were huge backlogs. “Both the NHS and private hospitals throughout the suspension period provided emergency cover, but all non-urgent operations were put on hold including operative procedures.“There is currently a huge backlog which will take several months, even years,” he added.

Dr Sher Bahadur Anjum, paediatric consultant Barts Health NHS Trust, said the NHS hospitals were prioritising emergency operations at the moment. He said that the elective category of operations would resume in not less than six months because currently, the NHS was fearing another peak and arrangements had been made to deal with such a scenario.

Dr Anjum said: “Nawaz Sharif’s procedure falls in the super elective category. Lots of doctors are involved in this kind of surgery and lots of precautionary measures involved too. I don’t think his operation will be happening anytime soon due to the practical difficulties.”