According to a Gilani Research Foundation survey carried out by Gallup Pakistan a majority of Pakistanis (59 per cent) think Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif genuinely had a health issue, however, around 38 per cent believed the premier used his health issue to divert attention from the Panama Leaks probe.
The study used a nationally representative sample of 1,252 men and women from across the four provinces during June 06 – June 13, 2016. “Some people claim that the prime minister’s operation is just an excuse to divert attention from the Panama Leaks scandal. Others believe he is genuinely suffering from ill-health. What is your opinion on this?” the survey question asked.
The results revealed that 59 per cent of the respondents believed that it was a genuine health issue, while 38 per cent said that it was an excuse to divert attention from the Panama Leaks scandal. Three per cent did not know or did not wish to answer.
In the midst of the political storm whipped up by the Panama leaks, it was announced in May that the premier will be flying to London for a medical check-up. Soon after his arrival in London, Maryam Nawaz Tweeted that the PM [is] undergoing open heart surgery.
The survey was carried out by the Gilani Research Foundation, which is a not for profit public service project that aims to provide social science research to students, academia, policy makers and concerned Pakistani citizens across the globe. It is headed by Dr Ijaz Shafi Gilani who has considerable experience in the field of opinion polling in Pakistan, which led him to establish Gallup Pakistan in 1980. Gilani, a PhD holder from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has taught at leading universities in Pakistan and abroad and currently serves as the Chairman of Gallup Pakistan.