Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has expressed hope that ailing former premier Nawaz Sharif, who left the country for medical treatment Tuesday, will return as per the court’s instructions, saying that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had always respected the judiciary.
“The indemnity bonds demand was only to ensure that Nawaz will return to face the cases against him,” Imran reportedly told a federal cabinet meeting wherein it was also decided that the government won’t be challenging the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision that allowed Nawaz to travel abroad.
Last Tuesday, the federal cabinet had permitted the former premier to travel abroad for medical treatment with the condition that he should furnish indemnity bonds worth over Rs7 billion to ensure his return within four weeks.
The amount was equal to the fine imposed on him at the time of his conviction by an accountability court of Islamabad in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Avenfield properties cases. However, the LHC allowed him to travel abroad without any such bond but with an undertaking that he would definitely return to Pakistan.
Meanwhile, ex-PM Nawaz reached London on Tuesday night for medical treatment in a “high-end air ambulance” equipped with an intensive care unit and an operation theatre.
Nawaz was accompanied by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and personal physician Dr Adnan Khan. A team of doctors and paramedics were also on board to cope with any emergency situation.
As soon as the former premier exited through the VVIP gate at Heathrow in London, he was welcomed by a convoy of party loyalists who took him home. In a statement, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said that Nawaz had safely landed in London and thankfully had not faced any medical complications during the flight.
She also asked the nation to pray for Nawaz’s health.
Ailing former premier was granted bail on humanitarian grounds while he underwent treatment at Lahore’s Services Hospital following a precarious drop in his platelet count last month.
He was shifted to the hospital from Kot Lakhpat jail and later diagnosed with acute immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), an immune disorder that leads to an abrupt and sharp drop in blood platelet.
On Saturday, LHC had permitted Nawaz to seek medical treatment abroad without any conditions for a time period of four weeks. In its decision, the LHC said that in case Nawaz’s health doesn’t improve then the time-period can be extended, adding that the government officials will be able to contact Nawaz through the Pakistani Embassy.