Pakistan’s Ailing Ex-Premier Flies to London for Treatment

Pakistan’s ailing former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday flew to London for treatment following a bitter legal battle with the government.

An air ambulance of Qatar Airways carrying Sharif took off from an airport in northeastern Lahore city on Tuesday morning. Shehbaz Sharif, his younger brother and opposition leader, and the family doctor also accompanied him.

Party leaders, including Khawaja Asif and Ahsan Iqbal, were also present to see off the leader.

The former premier’s mother, other family members and his daughter Maryam — who surrendered her passport to  secure her release  in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case earlier this month — bid farewell to him at the house.

The former premier, suffering from acute immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets.

The development comes a day after the interior ministry issued a notification, allowing the former prime minister to travel abroad for medical treatment, saying that the decision was an “interim arrangement” in the light of the Lahore High Court’s order, which was passed last week.

The former premier, who has twice undergone open heart surgeries, has been convicted in two of three corruption cases, and exonerated in the third.

In the first case, Sharif, with his daughter Maryam and son-in-law, was sentenced last July to 10 years in jail in a corruption case by an accountability court in Islamabad, but the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended the conviction in September 2018.

In the second case, known as Al Azizia, in December 2018, Sharif got seven years in jail for owning assets beyond known income sources. The IHC suspended the jail term and granted bail to Sharif for eight weeks on medical grounds late last month.


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