Pervaiz Rasheed dismisses rumours of ‘deal’ between Nawaz, govt

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Pervaiz Rasheed dismissed rumours of an alleged deal between Nawaz Sharif and the government allowing the party leader to get out of prison and travel abroad.

He made the comments while talking in a programme “Naya Pakistan” aired on a local TV channel and said, “Political opponents even denied the existence of the hospital where Begum Kulsoom Nawaz breathed her last. They also said Nawaz wouldn’t return to Pakistan. But Nawaz did return, he and his daughter both went to prison. If Nawaz had to cut some deal, he would not have gone to prison with his daughter in the first place.”

“Nawaz has never struck a deal in his political career before, and he never will in the future too. He is a dignified person and has always sacrificed [in the interests of the country],” Rasheed continued.

When talking about Nawaz’s health condition, the senator said, “Maryam [Nawaz] also only found out through media. We didn’t even know he was being shifted to a hospital. His doctors were also ignorant of his health condition. It would have been better if Nawaz’s family had been taken into confidence and made aware of his health.”

Rasheed said he and other party members wished Nawaz would be allowed to consult his doctor in London, who carried out his heart surgery and is aware of his condition better than the other doctors in Pakistan.

Earlier, two special medical boards of the Allama Iqbal Medical College/Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, and the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), Lahore, examined Nawaz at the jail. The AIMC/Jinnah Hospital board had recommended that Nawaz should be shifted to hospital for “optimal treatment”.

However, the government, instead, had opted for the constitution of the third board, comprising army doctors. The board after a thorough examination had recommended the government to shift Nawaz to the hospital.

Nawaz Sharif was sent to jail by an accountability court last year after he was found guilty of corrupt practices in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs1.5 billion and $25 million on Nawaz — a total of Rs5bn. A disqualification of 10 years from holding any public office is part of the sentences awarded to the former PM and will come into effect following his release from jail after serving the seven-year sentence.

In September 2017, a probe against Nawaz was launched. He was first convicted and sentenced for 10 years in July last year in a case related to Avenfield properties in London. The Islamabad High Court granted him bail in the case in September. He was later convicted in the Al-Azizia case in December 2018.