–Says there’s ‘no legal, moral or medical basis without any concrete proof’ for further extension of ex-PM’s bail
–Nawaz’s physician accuses Punjab govt of carrying out ‘worst kind of political victimisation’
LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat on Tuesday announced that the provincial cabinet had decided not to further extend the medical bail granted to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in London for treatment.
Addressing a press conference alongside Health Minister Yasmin Rashid and Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, Basharat said: “The committee has decided that Nawaz Sharif’s bail can’t be extended further.”
He explained that the initial court order said the former premier was granted bail for eight weeks by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on October 29, 2019, but said that “a further eight weeks had passed since then as discussions were underway”.
“Till a decision by the Punjab government, this bail was to be automatically extended, therefore it was extended for 16 weeks,” he said.
After the passage of 16 weeks, Basharat said the provincial government wanted to be informed about developments regarding Nawaz’s health on the basis of which a decision to extend his bail could be made.
Earlier, the IHC had directed Nawaz to seek the Punjab government’s permission for further relief if required.
“Till today he (Nawaz) has not been admitted to any hospital in London,” Basharat said, adding that nothing specific had been shared with the government regarding the PML-N supremo’s health and the matter had been “lingering on”.
He said the Punjab cabinet had decided that there was “no legal, moral or medical basis without any concrete proof” for further extension of Nawaz’s bail.
Basharat said the Punjab government would now share its decision with the federal government, which will decide upon the matter.
Following the Punjab government’s announcement, PML-N senior leader Rana Sanaullah said they will challenge the decision in the high court following discussions.
NAWAZ’S PHYSICIAN REJECTS GOVT’S CLAIM:
Meanwhile, Dr Adnan, personal physician of Nawaz, rejected the government’s claim that the family has not submitted fresh medical reports to the committee.
In a series of tweets, Dr Adnan claimed that the government’s decision to not extend his patient’s bail was based on ill-intent.
He tweeted: “Former PM #NawazSharif through legal counsel & myself submitted time & again all relevant & concerned medical documents to Govt of Punjab & Honourable High Court. Medical reports were all-inclusive & conclusive formally notarised, attested & verified.”
In an accompanying tweet, he claimed: “Unfortunately the Govt of Punjab unilaterally took a decision which has no basis, logic or sound reasoning. Even worse, through aides, the government is conveying false & baseless information via media. This is worse kind of political victimisation!”
EXTENSION IN NAWAZ’S TIME ABROAD:
Amid bickering between the ruling PTI and PML-N, Nawaz reached London for medical treatment on November 19, 2019.
Nawaz was granted bail by the IHC on humanitarian grounds, in the Al Azizia case earlier this month. He also obtained bail in the ongoing Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) case, in which he is a suspect, from the Lahore High Court.
On December 23, he sought an extension in his stay abroad on the expiry of the four-week period granted by the LHC. Following his request, the Punjab government constituted a four-member committee to decide on it and sought fresh medical reports to make an “informed decision”.
In January, a picture of Nawaz at a London restaurant along with some members of his family had surfaced on social media, raising questions about the condition of the former premier’s health. Following this, on January 15, the Punjab government had rejected Nawaz’s medical reports which had been submitted on December 23.
Once again on January 30, the Punjab government asked Nawaz to submit fresh medical reports so that a decision on his request seeking more time abroad could be made.