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Nawaz Sharif arrives in UK for medical treatment

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Pakistan's ailing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in London on Tuesday in an air ambulance to seek better medical treatment for multiple diseases.

His air ambulance flight from Lahore landed in the UK in the evening after a stopover in Doha, Qatar. The air ambulance was equipped with an intensive care unit and an operation theatre.

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Party (PML-N) aides were present to receive the 69-year-old party chief, who was accompanied by his brother Shehbaz Sharif and personal physician as he was taken to his London residence in the posh Park Lane area of the British capital.

"He will rest overnight at his residence and tomorrow [Wednesday] he will consult with Harley Street specialists, a PML-N UK spokesperson said.

"He has been under a lot of stress and strain, but we hope his platelet levels should go up. We will wait and see what the consultants say and then decide if he would need to be taken to a hospital in Boston in the US, the spokesperson said.

The three-time prime minister has been diagnosed with an immune system disorder and doctors in Pakistan recommended that he should go abroad for treatment as his condition continued to deteriorate despite best possible care in the country.

The former Pakistani premier was sentenced to seven years in prison on corruption charges in December last year. Since he was granted bail last month on medical grounds, his party and family members have been working on getting him removed him from a travel ban list to allow him to seek treatment overseas.

Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government had demanded that Sharif pay a bond of 7 billion Pakistani Rupees (estimated USD 45 million) as a condition of his travel abroad which the PML-N had rejected.

On Thursday, Sharif challenged this condition in the court terming it 'illegal' and a "trap" of prime minister Khan to use them (bonds) for his political gains.

After days of deadlock over the condition, he was finally allowed to leave his home in Lahore to travel to London for treatment following an undertaking to the court that he would return to Pakistan within four weeks.

From the UK, he is expected to be flown to the US city of Boston where a medical appointment is already in place with a hospital.

Sharif denies all charges of corruption against him and had been granted bail by the Islamabad High Court and Lahore High Court on humanitarian grounds earlier this month.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 20 2019. 00:25 IST
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