Federal Minister of Law and Justice, Farogh Naseem, announced Wednesday that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will receive a "one-time" permit to travel abroad for medical treatment for a period of four weeks.
Addressing a press conference together with the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Responsibility, Shahzad Akbar, said that this permit will be subject to the Sharif family presenting a compensation bonus "for a sum of Rs7-7.5 billion."
The PML-N quickly rejected the government's decision, calling it "partial" and "based on revenge policy."
Naseem was speaking after chairing an advisory meeting of the cabinet subcommittee held to finalize his recommendations on the issue of removing Nawaz's name from the Exit Control List (ECL).
He said the permit "is not conditional on anyone's consent" and has been granted to comply with the government's obligations in view of Nawaz's "adverse critical medical condition."
He said the Interior Ministry had received a request from the president of PML-N, Shehbaz Sharif, for the removal of Nawaz's name from the air exclusion list. Along with the statement, a detailed medical report from Sharif Medical City Hospital was also presented. It was verified and on November 10, the Punjab medical board in its report agreed with the Sharif Medical City report, Naseem added.
He said the report noted that Nawaz has a blood disorder, while his platelet count was around 25,000 when it should have been around 150,000 or more. He had also suffered a stroke.
"On November 12, we held three meetings and the subcommittee informed the cabinet that Nawaz Sharif's medical condition is very serious," he said, noting that, in addition to the problem of blood platelets, Nawaz suffers numerous heart problems and has undergone to six cardiac procedures. in which seven stents were inserted. Naseem quoted doctors as saying that when they try to treat Nawaz platelet count problems, other complications arise, including those related to their heart.
The law minister acknowledged that the committee members did not know that the condition of the former prime minister is "so adverse", and once informed of the same, the federal cabinet voted to allow Nawaz to travel abroad with a "large most".
However, he said, cabinet members agreed that the permit will be "once" and will be subject to the Sharif family presenting a compensation bond.
Naseem said the permit will be formally issued to the Sharif family shortly. "It is up to them how they take the matter forward."
He said the decision was made in light of the previous precedents in which the convicted received "one-time" permission to travel abroad. Answering a question, the minister said Nawaz may request an extension after the four-week period ends.
Special assistant Akbar clarified that Nawaz's name was not removed from the ECL, because the law does not allow it, but he was granted a one-time permit.
A memo issued by the interior ministry later in the evening said "it has been decided by the federal government to allow Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif a single permit […] travel abroad to receive medical treatment for a period of 04 weeks from the date of departure (during your bond period), subject to the provision of an indemnity bond as follows ":
- 8 million pounds sterling or equivalent rupees
- US $ 25 million or equivalent rupees
- 1.5 billion rupees
PML-N rejects decision
Shortly after the press conference, the PML-N rejected the government's conditional offer to allow Nawaz to travel abroad.
In a statement, the spokesman for the party, Marriyum Aurangzeb, said the government's decision to make the removal of Nawaz's name from ECL conditional on the presentation of compensation bonds was based on "[Prime Minister] Imran Khan's partial attitude and his revenge policy. "
She said that bails had already been submitted and that the constitutional and legal requirements had been met at the time of securing Nawaz's bail from the higher courts.
"A government court cannot be established above the court," the spokesman said, adding that the government's demand to present security bonds was not acceptable to the party.
She accused the government of recognizing the seriousness of Nawaz's health on the one hand, while on the other hand "created obstacles" in the way of her immediate treatment abroad.
According to a statement issued by the party, the president of PML-N, Shehbaz, called a meeting of the top leaders of the party tomorrow to discuss the government's decision.
Shehbaz will address a press conference after the meeting around 3pm Thursday.
After the marathon meetings of the federal cabinet and his subcommittee on Tuesday, Nawaz had refused to travel abroad to receive his medical treatment under the conditions proposed by the government. The government had requested that PML-N's supreme brother, Shehbaz Sharif, or his daughter Maryam present on their behalf bonds equivalent to the fines imposed in the two corruption cases: Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Avenfield.
"If Nawaz Sharif leaves the country and does not return, NAB and the courts can ask us why the government had allowed Nawaz Sharif to proceed abroad," the prime minister said at the federal cabinet meeting yesterday.
But the stalemate that hindered the former prime minister's ability to travel abroad for medical treatment persisted when PML-N refused to present the guarantee bonds. Speaking to reporters after yesterday's meeting, PML-N leader Ataullah Tarar said that the party had already submitted bails in the higher courts of Lahore and Islamabad to secure Nawaz's bail and that the issue of treatment Nawaz's doctor was already discussed in court.
"It is not necessary to present more guarantees in any forum," he said.
Morning meeting canceled
Early today, a subcommittee meeting scheduled for 10am was postponed.
Punjab's health secretary, Momin Agha, who had arrived for the meeting, had said DawnNewsTV That did not take place. The head of the medical board formed for Nawaz's health, the director of the Hospital of Services, Dr. Mahmood Ayaz, had also arrived to attend the meeting.
There may have been a lack of communication about the meeting, said Dr. Ayaz DawnNewsTV. No official notification or declaration was made in this regard.
Speaking to the media in the morning, Tarar said that the PML-N representatives had not been asked to appear before the subcommittee meeting. However, the head of the committee had told them that if they changed their position on guarantee bonds, they should inform the committee.
Tarar added that the party had not changed his position.
In addition, the party's spokesman, Aurangzeb, refuted reports that PML-N had decided to boycott the subcommittee meeting, clarifying that they had never been invited to attend.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry, said the government had taken a "big step."
In a tweet today, Chaudhry said that while there was a battle for ongoing leadership in PML-N, the party should not do Nawaz's health policy and should organize the guarantee.
He added that Nawaz's situation may be an example and other suspects such as former President Asif Ali Zardari may also seek a similar offer.
"Without any authorized process, sending [him] abroad is practically not possible, "he said.
Government playing & # 39; dangerous game & # 39; with the health of Nawaz
Separately, in a statement issued today, Aurangzeb said the government's delay (by removing Nawaz's name from the ECL) was causing a delay in the arrival of an air ambulance to transport the former prime minister abroad.
She said that according to the doctor's instructions, the air ambulance should arrive today.
"Making Nawaz's departure abroad conditional is unconstitutional," he said, adding that the government was playing a "dangerous game" with Nawaz's health.
An emergency meeting of doctors is underway regarding his health, he said, and shared that the former prime minister had already been given high doses of steroids twice and that repeated doses of steroids could be dangerous, given the health of Nawaz
She said that all legal requirements regarding her health had already been completed and that the government should not act as an obstacle to her immediate treatment.
Nawaz's request to go abroad
Nawaz was rushed from Kot Lakhpat prison to the hospital last month after his personal doctor, Dr. Adnan Khan, warned of his deteriorated health. Doctors have been struggling to get their platelet count, which had been reduced to dangerous levels, back to normal.
The president of PML-N, Shehbaz Sharif, presented a request to the Ministry of Interior, as well as NAB, for the removal of Nawaz's name from the ECL so that the former prime minister could travel abroad for medical treatment. Nawaz has been diagnosed with an immune system disorder and his condition is said to be "extremely critical."
Nawaz, who was jailed after an accountability court found him guilty in Al Azizia's corruption referral, received bail from the Islamabad High Court for humanitarian reasons. He also obtained a bond in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, in which he is a suspect, from Lahore High Court.
"Nawaz Sharif finally agreed to go to London after doctors told him categorically that they had already exhausted all medical treatment. [options] available in Pakistan and traveling abroad is the only option left, "said a source from the Sharif family Sunrise last week.
In a statement, the Interior Ministry had said it had sent Nawaz's health reports received from Sharif Medical City, Lahore to the "Permanent Medical Board" for input and review.
The statement says that the ministry took all necessary measures taking into account the urgency of the matter as stated by Shehbaz in his request.
There were reports that the former prime minister could go to London on Monday; however, the procedure to remove your name from the air exclusion list could not be completed. In addition, their platelet count remained unstable and, according to Aurangzeb, doctors continued to fight for their platelet levels to reach the mark required to travel.