Wary Pak authorities seek medical reports from ex-pm Sharif over bail extension application

Lahore, Jan 30 (PTI) Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is in London on bail on medical grounds, has been given three days by the Punjab government to submit the required reports as it deliberates on his application seeking an extension of his stay abroad.

The 69-year-old Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo is undergoing treatment in London for coronary artery disease.

Sharif, who left for the British capital on November 19 in an air ambulance a month after he was released on bail from a seven-year prison sentence for corruption, has sought an extension in his stay abroad from the Punjab government – which suspects that the illness is a ruse to escape jail, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

The provincial home department, an a letter to Sharif, said that a medical board had found the reports submitted by his counsel Khawaja Haris on December 23 to be insufficient to form a conclusive opinion and sought fresh records, it said.

The letter warns Sharif that if he fails to provide the required reports, then the competent authority will decide on the stay matter 'as per the available facts brought on record', the report said.

Earlier this month, a fresh picture of Sharif at a London restaurant along with some family members had gone viral on social media, leading the Opposition to cast aspersions over the 'serious nature' of his health.

Before going to the UK, the three-time former prime minister was shifted from jail to the Services hospital in Lahore in October after his health condition deteriorated. Doctors then recommended him to get treatment abroad.

The Pakistan government allowed Sharif's travel for medical reasons but put the condition that he submit an indemnity bond as a guarantee that he would return to the country after getting treatment. He, however, rejected the condition and challenged it in courts.

Sharif was granted bail by the Islamabad High Court on humanitarian grounds in the Al Azizia case and by the Lahore High Court in the ongoing Chaudhry Sugar Mills case, in which he is a suspect.

In November, he was allowed by the Lahore High Court to travel abroad for treatment without any bond. PTI CPS AKJ CPS