LAHORE: Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid on Friday said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was “now responding to the treatment and had personally told her he is satisfied with the medical care that was being provided to him”.
“I personally visited him and asked him: ‘are you satisfied with the treatment?'” she said during a press conference held at Directorate General Public Relations (DGPR).
“I discussed everything with him,” she said, adding: “I will never lie to you; had he not expressed his satisfaction, I would not have said this to you.”
“We told him that if he wanted us to call a doctor from abroad, the chief minister has a plane ready and we will bring the doctor to Pakistan […] We are sharing all his reports with his personal physician,” Rashid said.
Nawaz, who is currently serving a 7-year sentence in Al-Azizia Steel Mills case, was taken to the Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) late Monday night after health deteriorated significantly in NAB custody.
Following a number of medical tests concluded for three days, a six-member medical board, headed by Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) Principal Dr Ayaz Mahmood, had on Thursday diagnosed the reason for Nawaz’s declining health.
“It is acute immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a bleeding disorder, in which the immune system destroys platelets,” a board member had said on Thursday. “We are hopeful that his condition will improve in a few days.”
Rashid, in today’s press conference, explained that earlier when doctors injected platelets in Nawaz’s body, they would be destroyed, which was reflected in the constant fluctuation in the platelet count. Now, however, the PML-N supremo was responding to the treatment, she said.
“The latest platelet count is 22,000, which means he is now responding to the treatment. I have been working with blood disorders all my life I am very hopeful that this problem will be resolved.”
She said that the reason she had called a press conference was to pass on a message by Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has vowed that the government will accept the verdict passed by the courts “in letter and spirit”.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader said that the prime minister has categorically stated that “as far as medical treatment is concerned, we [the government] will not leave any stone unturned”.
“Human life belongs to God and […] it is our duty to protect it as much as we can.”
Rashid said that the head of the medical board Dr Ayaz Mahmood had appeared before the Lahore High Court while another member Dr Saleem Cheema appeared before the Islamabad High Court, for hearings of separate bail pleas filed for Nawaz’s release in Chaudhry Sugar Mills case and Al Azizia reference respectively. Both doctors had submitted the former premier’s medical reports in the high courts.
“The technical board has submitted the report. Even I have not seen it because I believe in confidentiality,” she said.
When asked about snide comments about Nawaz’s poor health made by members of government, Rashid said: “I am [also] the government. Have you ever heard me making any such statements?”
She also addressed reports regarding health issues being faced by Maryam Nawaz and said that the latter was brought to the hospital for a checkup.
“I was there [at the hospital] and instructed that [Maryam] should be kept under observation and all her tests should be conducted.
“The results of all her tests were normal and she was discharged in the morning.”
When asked why Maryam had not been allowed to see her father, Rashid said: “Imran Khan sahib has expressed his feelings. He wants [Nawaz’s] daughter to be the one to take care of him, but the rest is a legal process. I have told you the intentions of the prime minister.
“You need to keep in mind that the courts are independent. The home ministry must have already given whatever legal instructions were necessary.”