Ailing Sharif to finally fly to UK on Tuesday

Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sits on a plane after landing at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore on July 13, 2018. (REUTERS/File)
Updated 18 November 2019

Ailing Sharif to finally fly to UK on Tuesday

  • An air ambulance will take the former prime minister out of Pakistan
  • Doctors getting him ready for travel; process to take two days

LAHORE – Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will leave Pakistan for treatment in the UK on Tuesday with doctors administering the necessary medicines to prepare him for the journey, officials told Arab News on Sunday

An air ambulance is expected to fly him out of Pakistan on Tuesday with his entire medical team on board.

“Air ambulance will arrive on Tuesday and Nawaz Sharif will go to the UK for treatment on the same day. The team of doctors has examined Nawaz Sharif on Sunday morning and consulted how to maintain his platelets’ count to enable him for travel,” Maryam Aurangzeb, spokesperson of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said in her address to the media on Sunday.

Nawaz needs a genetic test to be conducted to ascertain the reasons for his ailment. However, since the facility is not available in Pakistan, he has to travel abroad for the purpose.

“Doctors are managing Nawaz Sharif’s medical requirements to get him medically stabilized for traveling. The process may take two days. He will be leaving for London, the UK in a fully equipped and medically-staffed Air Ambulance,” Dr. Adnan Khan, Nawaz’s personal physician told Arab News.

The process brings to an end a high octane drama that had engulfed Pakistan’s political scene in the past few weeks.

On Saturday, the Lahore High Court gave Nawaz an ok to travel, doing away with the federal government’s condition of submitting an indemnity bond of Rs7 billion.

The court also ordered the government to remove his name from the no-fly list for four weeks, without any conditions.

“The court has ordered to remove the name of Mian Nawaz Sharif from the ECL unconditionally and allowed him to go abroad for treatment for four weeks time that can be extended owing to his health condition,” Advocate Ashtar Ausaf Ali told Arab News. 

“We have accepted the draft prepared by the court. Shahbaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif will sign the affidavits to satisfy the court,” he added.

The court granted permission after getting separate affidavits from Nawaz and his brother, Shehbaz Sharif, on the surety that they will return to the country after treatment.

“Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif have given an undertaking so we are giving permission to Nawaz Sharif to go abroad for treatment. The permission is for four weeks that can be extended subject to the (medical) condition,” Mr. Justice Ali Baqir Najfi, head of the bench, said in court.

The petition was filed by PML-N president Shehbaz, on Thursday, seeking the removal of Nawaz’s name from the no-fly list. 

On Friday, the court accepted the petition for the hearing rejecting the federal government’s objection and deferring the matter until Saturday.

Former Deputy Speaker and PML-N leader, Rana Mashood while talking to the Arab News said: “The court has nullified the unconstitutional condition of furnishing of the bond by the government. Nawaz Sharif will certainly come back as they are innocent that would be proved in the courts.”

The three-time former prime minister, Nawaz, has been serving a sentence on corruption charges, but had been granted bail on “health grounds.”


Patient Abid cuts his way into cricket history at age 32

Updated 16 December 2019

Patient Abid cuts his way into cricket history at age 32

  • He has long been knocking at the doors of international cricket
  • Abid is now the oldest Pakistani player to score a century on debut

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan: Nobody can accuse 32-year-old Abid Ali of not seizing his chances when given them.
Pakistan drew its first test at home in 10 years against Sri Lanka at the Pindi Cricket Stadium after rain washed out more than half of the match, but not before Abid had smashed a century on debut. He was batting at the same venue where Pakistan great Younis Khan scored a century on his test debut in 2000 — also against Sri Lanka.
Abid completed a unique double, becoming the batsman in the history of the sport to score a century in both his ODI and test debuts.
More than 12,000 cricket-starved fans — popularly known as ‘The Pindi Boys’ — enjoyed every moment of the opener’s innings under bright sunshine. He hit an unbeaten 109, featuring 11 fours. Six of those boundaries were his favorite cut shots.
Abid has long been knocking at the doors of international cricket but had to wait patiently until he got his chance in March this year during the limited-overs series.
A scintillating ODI century against Australia in the United Arab Emirates was not enough to convince the selectors that he was ready for the all-important World Cup in England.
But Abid didn’t lose heart and continued to polish his skills at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. He was among the 16-man squad which toured Australia for the recent two-test series but couldn’t fit in new coach Misbah-ul-Haq’s plans. Pakistan returned home after heavy losses at Brisbane and Adelaide, where Abid watched from the sidelines.
Abid’s hopes were raised once again when he was selected for the home series against Sri Lanka, but there were still pundits who didn’t believe he’d get a chance in Rawalpindi.
“I had never grumbled whenever I was ignored,” Abid said. “I have patience. I believed that my time will come ... Thankfully I got my chance and what else you could ask for than a hundred on debut. I waited a long for this very day and here I am.”
Only 5.2 overs could be bowled on the third day and the entire fourth day was washed out due to wet conditions.
Bright sunshine welcomed players on the last day and Abid seized the opportunity Sunday after Sri Lanka declared its first innings at 308-6 once Dhananjaya de Silva had scored his sixth test hundred.
Together with Pakistan’s most reliable batsman Babar Azam, who scored his third test hundred, Abid enthralled fans under perfect batting conditions.
Abid, now the oldest Pakistani player to score a century on debut, said he didn’t want to be compared with the greats of the game.
“I am an ordinary player and I can’t match great players,” he said. “I am Abid Ali and please see me as Abid Ali only.”
But one of those greats has already acknowledged that a star is on the rise in the Pakistan team.
“We call him Legend” in the dressing room, Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis tweeted after Abid’s century.