Shahbaz Sharif slams as ‘ransom’ government demands over allowing former prime minister to travel abroad for medical treatment
The president of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), Shahbaz Sharif, on Thursday said his party had decided to approach the Lahore High Court to protest the government’s actions over allowing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad for medical treatment.
Addressing a press conference following a deliberative meeting between senior party leaders, Shahbaz denounced the government’s demand of indemnity bonds as a prerequisite to allowing Sharif to leave Pakistan. He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, in asking the PMLN to submit indemnity bonds amounting to approximately Rs. 7 billion, was essentially demanding “ransom.”
According to Geo News, Sharif has informed his family that if the court does not grant him any relief, he will not travel abroad for his treatment.
On Wednesday evening, Law Minister Farogh Naseem announced that the government had decided to grant a “one-time” permission for Sharif to travel abroad owing to his critical condition. He said this permission spanned four weeks, which could be extended if need be, and would require the Sharif family submitting indemnity bonds worth Rs. 7 billion. The PMLN has repeatedly rejected any conditional demands, accusing the PTI of “politicizing” the issue of Sharif’s health.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been in critical condition for nearly a month, with medical professionals saying his platelet levels keep dropping to 24,000 against a healthy count of 150,000-450,000. Owing to his ill health, the Lahore High Court granted him bail on medical grounds in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case. The Islamabad High Court also granted bail the former premier bail for eight weeks on medical grounds, suspending his seven-year sentence in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference.