Pakistan anti-corruption officials raid properties of Nawaz Sharif; mother leaves for London

M Zulqernain

Lahore, Feb 15 (PTI) Pakistan anti-corruption officials raided the properties of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore on Saturday to collect evidence in a money laundering case, even as his mother left for London to be with her son ahead of his cardiac treatment.

An accountability court here has already exempted the 69-year-old Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo from appearing before it in the money laundering case on medical grounds and adjourned the hearing till February 28.

'Nawaz Sharif's mother Shamim Bibi left for London to be with her son while he undergoes heart treatment,' PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb tweeted on Saturday.

Aurangzeb said Bibi had been advised not to travel because of her age, 90, and illnesses but she expressed her wish to be present during her son's treatment.

On Saturday, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials raided businesses and properties of the Sharif family in search of evidence related to the money laundering charges.

The accountability bureau has accused Sharif of being a direct beneficiary of Chaudhry Sugar Mills and his daughter, Maryam, who was arrested in connection with the case in August along with her cousin Yousuf Abbas, of holding over 12 million shares in the sugar mills.

The three-time premier is undergoing treatment in London for coronary artery disease. Sharif was on November 4 last year granted bail on humanitarian grounds by the Lahore High Court in the case.

The former prime minister left for London on November 19 in an air ambulance.

Sharif is suffering from 'complex multi-vessel coronary artery disease and substantial ischemic and threatened myocardium for which he is due to undergo surgery, says his personal physician Dr Adnan Khan.

The Imran Khan government has not allowed Maryam Nawaz to go to London and placed her name on a no-fly list as she is also named in the money laundering case.

Nawaz's counsel advocate Amjad Pervez told Lahore High Court that his client is likely to undergo coronary angiography on February 24.

'The medical reports suggest that Mr Sharif requires continuous monitoring by the doctors in London,' Pervez said, and asked the court to extend exemption to Sharif from personal appearance in proceedings against him.

The court allowed the application and adjourned hearing till February 28. The Punjab government has not yet given extension to Sharif for his London stay, seeking fresh health reports.

The medical reports prepared by the London doctors have not so far advised Sharif about air travel.

Dr David Lawrence, a cardiac surgeon known for performing minimally invasive chest surgery and lung cancer surgery, penned the report detailing Sharif's medical history from 2003 to 2019 as well as his current treatment plan.

'The stability of healthcare management is of vital importance for the patient, hence he [Nawaz] should remain under the care of his healthcare providers in the UK until his diseases are adequately addressed,' he said. PTI MZ IND