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Personal physician of Nawaz Sharif to be allowed to visit him

10 July, 2019

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LAHORE: The Punjab Prisons Department on Tuesday assured the Lahore High Court that personal physician of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif would be allowed according to law to visit him like members of family do.

An official of the department assisted by a government law officer told court that the jail manual did not permit meeting of an inmate with his/her personal physician for medical examination. However, he said, the personal physician could be allowed to meet the inmate (Sharif) on Thursdays if he avoids speaking about the health of the former prime minister.

Additional Advocate General Asif Cheema complained that Dr Adnan Khan gave political statements whenever he met Sharif in the past.

Acting chief justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh expressed wonder and asked the law officer what kind of political statements a doctor could issue about the health of his patient.

“Did he hold any particular political party responsible for the ailment of his patient?” asked the judge.

Justice Sheikh was hearing a petition of PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz who sought permission to visit her jailed father at least twice a week along with his personal physician.

At the outset of the hearing, the law officer filed a report stating that a team of specialist doctors was available in the jail round the clock. He said the doctors examined Mr Sharif after every eight hours.

Maryam’s counsel Azam Nazir Tarar argued that the non-provision of adequate medical facility was violation of fundamental rights. He said the government could not treat a three-time prime minister like an ordinary citizen.

However, Justice Sheikh rejected this argument and asked the counsel to keep politics out of courtroom.

The judge adjourned the petition to the extent of the prayer for twice a week meeting after the prison official undertook that the physician would be allowed to visit Nawaz Sharif every Thursday. He further undertook that the personal physician would also be permitted to examine Sharif under the supervision of the jail’s doctors.

The petitioner’s counsel consented to the interim decision and the judge observed that the physician would not politicise the health matter. The petition will be taken up after summer vacation in the high court.

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