Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, whose health continues to deteriorate, must urgently fly abroad for additional treatment, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Thursday.
“Doctors have declared Mian Sahib’s state as extremely critical,” she said in a statement issued to media. “Despite all possible treatments in Pakistan, his condition is not improving and his platelet level is not stabilizing.”
Reportedly, Sharif’s platelet count has fallen to 24,000 once again—a healthy platelet count should be between 150,000 and 450,000—which is far too low to allow air travel. Daily Dawn quoted sources within the PMLN as saying it was possible that doctors would administer a higher dosage of medication to boost his platelet count so he could travel.
Aurangzeb said that the team of doctors treating Sharif had informed the former prime minister that all options available in Pakistan have been exhausted. It is believed, if allowed, he would travel to London for further treatment, with Aurangzeb saying it would be up to the Sharif family to decide.
The PMLN spokeswoman admitted that Sharif remained on the Exit Control List and would need to be removed from it before he could leave Pakistan. It is likely he would be granted this request, as government officials have already hinted that they would be amenable to this. “If going abroad [for treatment] is the only option for Nawaz Sharif, then we will allow it,” Interior Minister Brig (retd.) Ijaz Shah said last week.
The PMLN chief was shifted from Lahore’s Services Hospital to an intensive care unit set up at his residence earlier this week after his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, was released on bail. It is unlikely Maryam will travel with her father, as a requirement for her bail was surrendering her passport to the Lahore High Court.
A panel of doctors established to see to Sharif’s treatment had earlier advised sending the former P.M. abroad, saying there is no place in Pakistan where you can get complete genetic testing and treatment under one roof. “The panel of doctors has come to a unanimous decision that since the complete genetic test facility is not available in Pakistan, the patient requires treatment abroad,” Services Institute of Medical Sciences Principal Prof Dr. Mahmood Ayaz told Dawn.
The Islamabad High Court last week granted bail on medical grounds to Sharif for eight weeks, suspending a seven-year sentence in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference. The Lahore High Court also granted him bail in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.