‘Critically ill’ Nawaz lands in London


–Shehbaz Sharif, personal physician Dr Adnan accompany former PM in his ‘high-end air ambulance’

–Nawaz will go to Boston for treatment after detailed check-up in London


LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif reached London on Tuesday night for medical treatment in a “high-end air ambulance” which was equipped with an intensive care unit and an operation theatre a day after his name was removed from the no-fly list on the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC).

Nawaz was accompanied by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and personal physician Dr Adnan Khan. A team of doctors and paramedics were also on board to cope with any emergency situation.

As soon as Nawaz exited through the VVIP gate at Heathrow in London, he was welcomed by a convoy of party loyalists who took him home.

In a statement, PML-N Spokesperson said that Nawaz had safely London and thankfully he did not face any medical complications during his flight. She also asked the nation to pray for Nawaz.

Earlier in the day, a senior aide of the former premier confirmed that he will be travelling to Boston for further treatment. “Nawaz will go to Boston after going through a detailed checkup in London. During his travel, he will stay in Doha for two hours,” Pervaiz Rashid told Reuters.

Before former premier’s departure, Marriyum said that doctors had conducted a medical test in the morning and took measures to keep his condition stable during the journey.

“If Nawaz Sharif had left 15 days earlier, then his treatment would have already started by now,” Aurangzeb said, confirming that the PML-N supreme leader will be taken to the US for treatment.

Marriyum further said that in the absence of Nawaz and Shehbaz, party affairs will be handled by the senior leadership of the PML-N through an advisory board.

The development comes a day after the Ministry of Interior issued a notification to formally allow the former prime minister to travel abroad for medical treatment, stating that the decision has been taken as an “interim arrangement” in light of the LHC order in this regard.

In its notification, the ministry reproduced the undertakings provided by Shehbaz and Nawaz to the LHC in which the terms of their travel and return have been laid out.

The undertaking provided by Shehbaz includes a clause that states that the Pakistan High Commission will have the right to meet Nawaz’s doctors to “verify or confirm about his health”.

Until recently, Nawaz has consistently said he had no wish to leave the country, preferring to stay and fight for his political survival. Nawaz’s third term as prime minister ran from 2013 to 2017, when he was removed by the Supreme Court amid revelations over his personal wealth.

Subsequently convicted of corruption, Nawaz has consistently denied the accusations, claiming they were politically motivated and blaming the country’s generals for directing the judges to bring him down. The military denies interfering in politics.

On Oct. 25, Nawaz was granted bail and he obtained court clearance to leave the country for medical treatment.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who enjoys military backing, came to power promising an anti-graft campaign and to bring back billions of dollars allegedly squirreled abroad by corrupt politicians.

The PM has said he was ready to let Nawaz seek treatment on humanitarian grounds. But the court rejected Imran Khan’s demand that Nawaz provide an indemnity bond to give surety that he will return to continue his jail term.

“I hope he comes back, but I don’t expect that he will,” Imran Khan’s cabinet minister Fawad Chaudhry told a news conference.

Court documents seen by Reuters showed Nawaz was only allowed to leave for medical treatment after agreeing to a series of conditions preventing him from seeking exile.

Under the court’s terms, Nawaz should return in four weeks if his doctors found him fit, and he is required submit medical reports notarized by Pakistan’s embassy in London.