AGP says ‘expert medical opinion’ required for it to proceed as per the order of the LHC
The Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) has written a letter to the Punjab Home Department, requesting it to seek a medical board’s opinion on the health of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in light of a new report submitted by him before the Lahore High Court (LHC).
Earlier this week, Sharif’s counsel submitted to the LHC a three-page medical report authored by American cardiologist Dr. Fayaz Shawl that advised the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader against any travel until he had undergone “definitive [medical] treatment in London.” Noting that he had found Sharif “under a lot of stress” in his latest evaluation, Dr. Shawl warned that the former premier was at risk of “takotsubo syndrome” if he were placed under undue stress.
In the letter sent to the Punjab Home Department, the AGP’s office noted that a medical board constituted by the Home Department had sought access to the medical reports of Sharif to ascertain the true extent of his ailments. “The enclosed photocopied documents (29 pages) do not provide any information about his current clinical evaluation, blood reports, imaging results and any interventional procedures done so far,” it said, citing observations of the medical board.
“Therefore, the special medical board is not in a position to render any structured advice or a considered opinion about his current physical condition and ability to travel to the competent authority in the light of available information,” it added.
Referring to a decision of the federal cabinet to initiate proceedings against Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif “for apparent violation of the undertakings given in the petition before the LHC,” the AGP urged the provincial government to examine the latest medical report and “evaluate given all the known and reported facts and public activities of Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif to form an opinion, if any, on this subject.”
It added: “Once the expert medical opinion is available, this office shall proceed as per the order of the court.”
On Nov. 16, 2019, a division bench of the LHC granted one-time permission to Sharif to travel abroad under an interim, extendable, arrangement for four weeks. Sharif was directed to return to Pakistan when doctors had certified that he had regained health and was fit to travel. Following the federal cabinet’s decision to act against Shahbaz, the AGP had reminded the opposition leader that he had provided undertakings before the LHC to ensure his elder brother’s return.
In a letter address to Shahbaz, the AGP had last month warned of filing contempt proceedings if he failed to provide medical reports of Nawaz Sharif within 10 days.