Pakistan’s former premier Sharif granted interim bail

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

A Pakistani court on Saturday granted interim bail to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds, his lawyer said.

A two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani ordered the release of the former premier in a corruption case until Tuesday against a surety bond of 4 million rupees ($56,465).

According to Sharif’s lawyer, the final decision on suspending his sentence and granting him permanent bail will be taken by the court on Tuesday.

“Court has granted bail to Nawaz Sharif till Tuesday on medical grounds,” Barrister Zafrullah Khan, Sharif’s lawyer, told reporters outside the Islamabad High Court.

Earlier on Saturday, the court had accepted a request by Sharif’s youngest brother Shehbaz Sharif to hear the bail application on Saturday, instead of Tuesday.

During the hearing, Sharif’s lawyer informed the court that the former premier had “suffered a minor heart attack last night and his life is in danger”.

The lawyer also submitted a copy of the Lahore High Court verdict, which had granted bail to Nawaz Sharif in another case on Friday.

Marriyum Aurangzeb, spokeswoman for Sharif’s party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), welcomed the court verdict.

“We are thankful to almighty Allah and also thankful to the court for today’s verdict,” Marriyum told reporters in Islamabad.

On Monday night, Sharif was shifted to a hospital after his health deteriorated in Kot Lakhpat Jail in northeastern Lahore city.

According to Sharif’s personal physician, the former premier’s blood platelet count fell to “critically low level”.

“Mr. Sharif having severe atherosclerotic Coronary & Carotid Artery Disease with co-morbidities (HTN, DM, CKD) & because of subsequent serious effects of treatment developed NSTEMI (Non ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction); being managed on ACS protocol,” Dr Adnan Khan, Sharif’s personal physician tweeted on Saturday.

According to the authorities, Sharif has been suffering from acute Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets.

“Nawaz Sharif platelets has increased today to 45,000 and now his health improving,” Dr. Yasmin Rashid, health minister of Punjab province told reporters.
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