Ex-PM Sharif leaves Pakistan for medical treatment in London

Ex-PM Sharif leaves Pakistan for medical treatment in London

Ex-PM Sharif leaves Pakistan for medical treatment in London

His medical consultants had suggested that he be taken to London for proper treatment but because PM Imran Khan had said that he won't allow his political opponents to escape culpability, the Government had been unwilling to allow for Mr. Sharif to leave the country.

The three-time prime minister flew to Qatar and then London after his doctors said he had become dangerously ill while almost a year into a seven-year sentence for corruption.

Sharif, 69, was accompanied by his younger brother and personal physician, according to leaders of his Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Party.

But his departure has led to speculation a deal with the government is in the offing, allowing him to seek exile overseas in return for his freedom.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who came to power promising an anti-graft campaign and to bring back billions of dollars squirreled overseas by corrupt politicians, has said he was ready to let Sharif seek treatment on humanitarian grounds. On Saturday, the Lahore high court allowed Sharif to travel overseas for four weeks for medical treatment.

His conviction was earlier suspended for eight weeks on medical grounds.

Subsequently convicted of corruption, Nawaz has consistently denied the accusations, claiming they were politically motivated and blaming the country's generals for directing the judges to bring him down.

In December last year, an accountability court had sentenced Sharif to seven years in prison in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption case and acquitted him in the Flagship case.

"Though Mr Sharif was not ready to go overseas after the recommendations of the medical board of the Services Hospital and the medics of the Sharif Medical City and the "request" of his family members, he has finally agreed", the report quoted the member of the Nawaz Sharif family as saying.

Elections that followed that year ushered in the government of Imran Khan, who has vowed to root out corruption.

Sharif's party has blamed Mr Khan's government for imposing a heavy bail bond on the former premier, a sum that was later overturned by the authorities, allowing Sharif to leave. He served three terms - but did not complete a single one.

Sharif blamed the security establishment again for targeting him in 2017 when the Supreme Court disqualified him from politics for life over graft allegations.

The case was filed by Sharif when he was in power, angering the army.

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