A Pakistani court on Tuesday suspended the sentence of ailing former premier Nawaz Sharif for eight weeks in a corruption case, as his condition deteriorated after a drastic drop in his blood platelet count. Sharif, 69, was admitted to the Services Hospital on Monday night from Pakistan's anti-graft body's custody after his platelets dropped to a critical low level of 2,000.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday suspended the sentence of Sharif for eight weeks in the Al Azizia case, in which he is serving a seven-year imprisonment, the Dawn reported.
A plea for bail had been filed by Sharif's brother and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif. 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 Rs two million each will have to be submitted to the court to secure the release of Sharif.
The court further announced that the matter should be taken up with the Punjab government once the bail period expires. Sharif was in Kot Lakhpat jail but early this month was sent to the custody of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) which is probing the Sharif family in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.
Sharif last week procured bail on medical grounds in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case from the Lahore High Court. A two-member bench, comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani, heard the appeal on Tuesday.
Earlier during the hearing, the court asked doctors, who are part of the medical board overseeing Sharif's treatment, if it was possible for him to recover without staying in the hospital. The doctors responded in the negative and said that the PML-N supremo required medical supervision at all times, the daily said.
The board informed the court that Sharif had been given 80 injections in order to bring his platelet count which was reported to have dropped to dangerous levels to normal. When asked if Sharif had suffered a heart attack during his medical treatment, the doctors responded in the affirmative.
Sharif's personal physician Dr Adnan Khan, who had arrived in court before the hearing started, 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 told the court that Dr Raza Shamsi had been summoned from Karachi for Nawaz's treatment.
"He (Sharif) is still unstable," Dr Khan said. "I have never seen him in such an alarming condition." He said that the former premier's blood pressure had shot up after dinner on Monday night as well.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, who appeared before court today, assured the bench that the provincial government was providing the best medical care to the former premier. He told the bench that the provincial government was working to bring forth prison reforms.