–Doctors treating ex-PM say he is suffering from disease that causes breakdown of blood cells
–PML-N supremo’s platelets count decreases to 6,000; govt says any overseas doctor can be flown in
–Shehbaz moves LHC, IHC for bail and suspension of Nawaz’s sentence, respectively, Maryam also seeks bail in CSM case
LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s health condition declined on Thursday as his platelets count once again decreased to 6,000, as doctors said that the senior political leader was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), a disease that causes the breakdown of blood cells.
Addressing reporters, Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) Principal Dr Mahmood Ayaz said that the bone marrow of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo is “completely functional”. He said that thrombocytopenia was a treatable disease.
Owing to the gravity of the situation, the government also included Nawaz’s personal physician Dr Adnan in the medical board constituted to oversee his medical condition and announced that any overseas doctor can be flown in for his treatment.
Earlier in the day, Dr Ayaz had said that Nawaz would be taken to the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI) and Research Centre for a PET (positron emission tomography) scan. The scan is an imaging test that helps reveal how one’s tissues and organs are functioning.
According to sources in the hospital, the incarcerated prime minister refused to be shifted to the PKLI.
SHEHBAZ, MARYAM MOVE LHC FOR BAIL:
Meanwhile, a request was filed at the Lahore High Court (LHC) by Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N president and younger brother of Nawaz Sharif, seeking bail for the former premier in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills reference. The court asked the National Accountability Court to submit a response, adjourning the hearing till Friday.
The court also asked that a detailed report on Nawaz’s health be submitted by the Punjab government and summoned Dr Ayaz for Friday’s hearing.
During the hearing, Shehbaz’s counsel contended that Nawaz’s health was a matter of “life or death” and informed the court that Dr Raza Shamsi had especially been called over from Karachi, and that he, along with Dr Ayaz is overseeing Nawaz’s treatment.
Separately at the LHC, a petition was also filed by Maryam Nawaz, seeking her own bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills reference against her. NAB was instructed to file a response to this petition as well, by Friday.
IHC MOVED FOR SENTENCE SUSPENSION:
Earlier in the day, Shehbaz had moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC), seeking suspension of Nawaz’s sentence in the Al-Azizia reference on medical grounds. The PML-N president also requested the court to release his brother on bail till a decision was made on the appeal against his conviction.
The petition had contended that Nawaz should be allowed to be treated by a medical expert/doctor in Pakistan or abroad, as per his choice.
The IHC registrar office had raised objections over the petition, saying that Shehbaz, the applicant, was not the affected individual. A division bench of the IHC, however, removed the objections after hearing arguments from Khawaja Haris, the counsel for Sharif family.
CRITICAL DROP IN PLATELETS:
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had shifted Nawaz to the Services Hospital late on Monday night after his personal physician, Dr Adnan Khan, had raised an alarm about his critical condition in the accountability watchdog’s custody.
On Tuesday, doctors at the Lahore Services Hospital had termed Nawaz’s condition as ‘serious’ despite the transfusion of three mega units of platelets within hours after his admission.
According to the medical tests carried out on Tuesday, the platelet count of the former premier “dropped from 16,000 to a critical level of 2,000” when he was brought to hospital late on Monday night, prompting the medical board members to go for “immediate transfusion of the platelets to save his life”, one of the board members had said.
On Wednesday, Dr Ayyaz had said that the platelet count was being monitored and that if it is deemed necessary, another transfusion will be done to maintain the desired level of platelets.
He said that Nawaz’s health, otherwise, “is just fine”.
However, late on Wednesday evening, the health of the former premier deteriorated again. One doctor from Karachi and another from Islamabad were called to assist the medical board. Reportedly, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s plane was also on standby to bring in other doctors if needed.
Meanwhile, moments after Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid said that the government would have no objection if the former premier wished to seek treatment abroad, media reports had claimed that Nawaz’s sons Hassan and Hussain have organised a team of doctors to treat their father in London.