LAHORE: Pakistan’s ailing ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, currently serving a prison sentence for corruption, is refusing to have his recurring angina treated in hospital. His family have repeatedly asked him to reconsider his decision, and the Pakistani government have offered treatment in the hospital of Sharif’s choice.
“The health and life of Mian Nawaz Sharif is at risk,” Dr. Adnan Khan, Sharif’s personal physician, told Arab News.
“His condition is a serious concern and demands immediate definitive management, but he refused to go to hospital (in view of) the past practices of the authorities concerned.”
The Punjab government has, to date, convened five medical boards to examine the former prime minister, all of which have reported that the patient has a history of cardiac disease and needs continuous expert cardiac care in a facility where 24-hour cardiology intervention and multidisciplinary backup is available. Following their recommendations,
Sharif has been admitted to hospitals in recent months, but was reportedly unhappy with his treatment in those facilities.
On Thursday, Sharif’s brother Shahbaz, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, along with their mother Begum Shamim, Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz, and other family members, met the former premier in Kot Lakhpat jail and urged him to accept medical treatment at a hospital but he refused, said Dr. Khan, who has been Sharif’s physician for the past 27 years.
A team of cardiologists from Punjab Institute of Cardiology and King Edward University, accompanied by Dr. Shahbaz Gill, spokesperson for the chief minister of Punjab, also met Sharif at the prison late on Thursday.
The cardiologists were of the opinion that Sharif’s condition was worsening and that he required hospitalization, but he refused to accept the government’s offer of treatment.
“I visited Nawaz Sharif in the jail with a team of doctors and offered him treatment at any hospital. I conveyed to him the message from the government,” Dr. Gill told Arab News on Friday.
Maryam Nawaz returned to the jail on Friday for the second time to try and convince Sharif to accept help.
“Just met MNS (Nawaz Sharif). Since he has not agreed to be shifted to the hospital & his heart disease has worsened (according to cardiologists sent by the government to examine him yesterday), I request the Jail authorities to establish an immediate resuscitation and life saving unit on Jail premises,” she tweeted on Friday afternoon.
“Being a three-times Prime Minister & leader of biggest political party & of millions of people, this is the least he deserves,” she added.
Sharif has repeatedly rejected the government’s offer, citing the “past behavior” of the authorities as his reason for doing so. He claimed the government was “humiliating” him by taking him to hospital and not giving him proper treatment.
“Dr. Gill acknowledged severity of disease as reiterated by cardiologists & on behalf of Government offered admission in hospital which MNS (Nawaz Sharif) politely declined keeping his self respect as most important & in view of treatment meted out to him in previous visits/stays at hospital,” Dr. Khan tweeted after visiting the jail with the government’s team on Thursday.