Pakistan’s prime minister will return home once doctors have deemed it safe for him to travel again.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is to undergo open-heart surgery in London on Tuesday and will be hospitalized for at least a week to recover from the procedure, his daughter announced on Friday.
“P.M. Nawaz Sharif [is] undergoing open heart surgery on Tuesday,” posted Maryam Nawaz Sharif on social media website Twitter. In a series of tweets, she clarified that the prime minister had undergone an Atrial Fibrillation Ablation procedure in 2011 during which complications had occurred requiring open-heart surgery. “Due to certain recent symptoms, doctors made further investigations. The team of cardiologists & cardiac surgeons after thorough examination scans & tests have decided to go for an open heart surgery [again]. He will be on specific medication for the next 3 days before his surgery on Tuesday,” she added.
Urging the people of Pakistan to pray for him, Maryam said he would be fine. “Prayers are the most effective and potent medicine. Millions will pray for him. Insha Allah he’ll be fine,” she said, adding that he would return to Pakistan as soon doctors would deem it safe for him to travel.
A senior government official told AFP: “It may take little over a week for the prime minister to recover and travel back to Pakistan.” The official said Sharif was paying all expenses from his own pocket and “none of the state expenditures are involved.”
State-backed APP reported that Hassan Nawaz, Sharif’s son, said that his father would stay in an Intensive Care Unit for four days, before being moved to a private room. He will require at least two weeks bed-rest, he added.
The chairman of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in a Twitter post, appealed to all Pakistanis to pray for Sharif. “Sincerely hope his surgery goes well and he recovers soon,” he added.
Sources within the federal government say Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, a PMLN stalwart and relative of Sharif, will manage the government in the prime minister’s absence.