PML-N confirms ex-PM Sharif wants to go abroad for medical treatment

In this file photo, former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, center, leaves the Supreme Court building after the shrine land case hearing in Islamabad on Dec. 4, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 09 November 2019

PML-N confirms ex-PM Sharif wants to go abroad for medical treatment

  • Doctors in Pakistan have failed to diagnose Nawaz Sharif’s ailment, says Raja Zafarul Haq
  • Shehbaz Sharif has formally requested the interior ministry to remove his brother’s name from the no-fly list

LAHORE: Pakistan’s ailing former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, intends to travel abroad for medical treatment after getting his name removed from the country’s no-fly list, confirmed one of his senior party colleagues while talking to Arab News on Friday.
Sharif was disqualified from holding public office by the country’s top court in 2018 and was subsequently sentenced to ten years in prison when another court found him guilty of living beyond his stated means of income.
The former premier was probed in a money laundering case by the country’s anti-graft body, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), when he was taken to a hospital in Lahore since his platelet count had touched a dangerously low level.
The doctors performed various medical tests and administered different medicines, but Sharif’s ailment could not be diagnosed and the number of his blood platelets remained erratic and unstable.
“Nawaz Sharif will be traveling abroad for treatment as doctors in Pakistan have failed to diagnose his medical problem,” Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq told Arab News. “They have advised him to undergo medical tests that are not possible in Pakistan.”
The PML-N formally requested the interior ministry to get Sharif’s name removed from the Exit Control List (ECL), the party confirmed on Friday.
“[The former prime minister’s brother] Shehbaz Sharif submitted an application in the interior ministry to strike off the ex-PM’s name from the ECL,” Haq said. “He will go abroad once that is done.”
Earlier in the day, PML-N vice president and Sharif’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, also demanded that her father be allowed to travel abroad for medical treatment.
“All treatment options in the country have been exhausted,” she told a group of journalists in Lahore outside an accountability court. “Doctors have used steroids, platelet-enhancing medicines and drips. However, nothing is working. They are still unable to diagnose the cause of his decreasing platelets, and that is a cause of concern.”
It is pertinent to mention here that Dr. Mahmood Ayaz, who was leading the team of doctors that was treating Sharif at Lahore’s Services Hospital, suggested more medical tests, including a genetic examination which cannot be done in Pakistan.
“Certain medical tests — including a genetic test — is necessary to diagnose his disease. Genetic test facility is not available in the country and we have conveyed this to all concerned including his family,” he told the media on the day Sharif was discharged from the hospital.
On Friday, Maryam Nawaz said all necessary measures must be taken to save her father’s life.
“He must go abroad, if that is what it takes,” she told reporters.


Pakistani jailed for Dutch anti-Islam MP murder plot

Updated 18 November 2019

Pakistani jailed for Dutch anti-Islam MP murder plot

  • A Dutch court found the 27-year-old guilty of ‘planning a murder with a terrorist motive’
  • The judge added four years in jail to the six years sought by the prosecution

THE HAGUE: A Dutch court sentenced a Pakistani man to 10 years behind bars Monday for planning to assassinate a politician Geert Wilders after the MP announced an anti-Islam cartoon competition.
The man, identified as Junaid I. by local media, was arrested in August 2018 at a train station in The Hague after he posted a film on Facebook in which he said he wanted to “send Wilders to hell” and urged others to help.
Judges at The Hague’s district court found the 27-year-old man, who had traveled from France, guilty of “planning a murder with a terrorist motive” and “incitement to commit a terrorist deed.”
“The suspect more than once said that Wilders’ death would be a good deed,” said presiding judge Jan van Steen, who added four years in jail to the six years sought by the prosecution.
“Furthermore, the suspect wanted to commit the murder in one of the parliamentary buildings, the heart of Dutch democracy,” Van Steen said, adding “the court is alarmed that the suspect... declared that this case will boost his image in Pakistan.”
The suspect had denied any terror-related motives.
He said during the trial that he was “peace-loving” and had only traveled to the Netherlands from France to protest against Wilders’ cartoon competition.
The Facebook video was seen by more than 153,000 people and shared 14,000 times.
Far-right leader Wilders canceled his plans two days later to stage a cartoon competition against the Prophet of Islam, a move that angered many Muslims, particularly in Pakistan where protests were led by the hard-line Islamist Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan party.
Wilders, 56, known for his peroxide bouffant hairdo and firebrand anti-immigration and anti-Islamist statements, lives in a safe house and has been granted 24-hour protection by the Dutch state.
The court did not say how Junaid I. planned to kill Wilders but found that in a bugged phone call after his arrest he said he took “specific things with him... without which his mission would not be complete.”
He had also walked round with a “large backpack, which he did not have when he was arrested” and lied about what it contained, the judges said.
A day after Wilders announced the cancelation, an Afghan man stabbed two American tourists at Amsterdam’s main train station. The man, who said he wanted to “protect the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),” was last month sentenced to 26 years in jail.