The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday suspended the sentence of former premier Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds for eight weeks in the Al Azizia case.
A plea for bail had been filed by PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif for his brother Nawaz, who is under treatment at Lahore’s Services Hospital. The verdict had been reserved for a short period before it was announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The court, in its order, said that two surety bonds of Rs2 million each will have to be submitted to the court to secure Nawaz’s release. The court further announced that for an extension in bail, the Punjab government should be approached. A two-member bench, comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, heard the appeal today.
Before the verdict was reserved, Justice Farooq had asked Nawaz’s counsel, Khawaja Haris, whether the president can grant amnesty to Nawaz before the bail plea is announced. To this, Haris had replied: “He can invoke his presidential powers at any time. However, customarily, all forums are first approached.”
The court had observed that NAB seemed to be the only party with a clear stance on the matter and that the federal and provincial government were refraining from taking up a position. “On which condition should we grant you bail?” Justice Farooq had asked Haris. “On whichever condition that can give Nawaz Sharif a chance to recover,” he had replied.
Earlier during the hearing, the court had asked doctors, who are part of the medical board overseeing Nawaz’s treatment, if it was possible for Nawaz to recover without staying in the hospital. The doctors had responded in the negative and said that the PML-N supremo required medical supervision at all times.
Nawaz’s personal physician Dr Adnan Khan, who had arrived in court before the hearing started, had said that so far, the board was not able to figure out the reason behind the destruction of the platelets in the former premier’s body. He had told the court that Dr Raza Shamsi had been summoned from Karachi for Nawaz’s treatment.
“He (Nawaz) is still unstable,” Dr Khan had said.
Meanwhile, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif asked party workers on Tuesday to refrain from celebrations and pray for Nawaz Sharif’s health.
Shehbaz Sharif further said that Nawaz is in a critical condition, adding that it is pertinent at the time to accurately diagnose the disease the ailing former prime minister was suffering. He urged party workers and the nation to pray for the speedy recovery of Nawaz Sharif.
Nawaz Sharif’s physician Dr Adnan Akmal said said in a tweet on Tuesday that former prime minister is “critically unwell.In addition to the minor heart attack, Nawaz has a low platelet count, both of which are being further complicated by “deteriorating kidney functions” the doctor added.