Pakistan’s ex-PM Sharif fighting for life: Doctor
Islamabad, Pakistan - Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif is ‘ critically unwell’, his doctor said on Tuesday, days after the three-time leader now serving a prison sentence for corruption suffered a minor heart attack.
Sharif is currently in hospital in the eastern city of Lahore, where he is ‘critically unwell’ and is ‘fighting the battle for his health & life’, his personal physician, Adnan Khan, tweeted on Tuesday. As his condition worsened, the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday effectively extended his bail for two months to allow him access to medical care.
Sharif remains on a ‘stop list’, meaning he cannot leave the country for the time being.
Members of Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party meanwhile bristled at the former prime minister’s treatment by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government, who had boasted of depriving his rival of basic amenities in prison.
“Sharif’s condition deteriorated because of Imran Khan’s vengeance against the former Prime Minister. Let it be known to everyone that, God forbid, if something happens to Sharif, Khan will be responsible for the consequences,” senior leader PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal said.
In addition to the minor heart attack, Sharif has a low platelet count, both of which are being further complicated by ‘deteriorating kidney functions’, Adnan Khan said.
He said poor blood sugar and blood pressure control was taking its toll, adding that ‘establishing a definitive diagnosis and subsequent management poses considerable risk to #NawazSharif’s fragile and unstable health’.
The 69 year old former prime minister, known as the ‘Lion of Punjab’, was first taken to hospital last week when his blood platelet count dropped to dangerous levels.
Sharif, Pakistan’s longestserving prime minister, is a political survivor who has repeatedly roared back to the country’s top office, underscoring the unpredictable nature of Pakistani politics.
A hugely wealthy steel tycoon from Punjab, Pakistan’s wealthiest province, he was considered strong on the economy and infrastructure, but inherited sagging finances and a stifling energy crisis when he was elected for the third time in 2013.
Seen as a pragmatist in the West, he raised eyebrows by calling for peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban, blamed for killing thousands of Pakistanis since 2002.
He earned a reputation for combativeness during his two previous terms as prime minister, from 1990 to 1993 - when he was sacked, also on corruption charges - and from 1997 to 1999, when he was deposed by the powerful military.
This file photo shows Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif addressing the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York on September 30, 2015
Supporters of Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif shout slogans outside a hospital, in Lahore on Saturday