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IHC rejects Nawaz’s plea for bail in Al-Azizia case

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday turned down former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s bail plea on medical grounds in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case.

A two-member bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani announced the verdict after hearing arguments from Sharif’s counsel and the NAB prosecutor.

Sharif’s counsel, Khawaja Haris, told the court that his client’s life was at risk. He submitted a detailed report at the court about Sharif’s cardiovascular complications and said that the stents which were to be implanted in Sharif were not available in Pakistan.

He said that the former prime minister was susceptible to a heart attack due to blocked arteries. Haris further told the court that Dr Asim Hussain and General (r) Pervez Musharraf both had been allowed to travel abroad to seek medical treatment.

When the bench asked Haris as to why his client could not seek treatment in Pakistan when there were qualified doctors in the country as well, Haris said that 18 doctors had recommended Sharif seek treatment abroad.

“My client will turn 70 in December. He has been diagnosed with 13 ailments. These diseases are life threatening,” he said.

NAB prosecutor Jahanzaib Bharwana pleaded the court not to grant bail to Sharif. He said that the former premier had sought and received a bail for six weeks.

“During this time, Nawaz could have sought treatment anywhere in Pakistan,” he said. “Those six weeks were not for tests but for treatment,” he added.

Bharwana told the court that Sharif in his review petition filed with the Supreme Court had requested permission to fly abroad for medical treatment. However, the apex court had turned down his petition. The plea filed with the top court also underwent a similar hearing and observation of medical reports as well as review appeals.

He said that Sharif was being provided medical treatment in jail and his health was improving. The bench took NAB’s point of view and ruled against the bail plea.

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