Bilawal inquires about Nawaz Sharif’s health at Kot Lakhpat jail

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday urged the federal government to ensure that preferable medical facilities are provided to former three-time premier Nawaz Sharif.

According to details, Bilawal inquired about Sharif’s health along with other senior party leaders including Qamar Zaman Kaira, Mustafa Khokhar, Hassan Murtaza and Jameel Soomro.

After having a meeting with Sharif, Bilawal spoke to the media and rejected such speculations by stating that there was no political motive behind the meeting. “Despite of being sick, Nawaz Sharif did not seem to make any compromise,” he went on to say. “Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari had also served jail time in this jail,” he added.

Bilawal Bhutto has demanded the government to ensure the provision of medical facilities to ailing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif of his own choice.

While talking to journalists outside Kot Lakhpat jail, the PPP chairman insisted that it was completely a non-political meeting as he only arrived in to inquire after ailing Nawaz Sharif following speculations circulating around regarding his health condition.

“Every human has some cultural values despite having political differences, while our religion teaches us to inquire about the health of a person who is suffering from a disease.” He urged that injustice must not be made with any prisoner and it was government’s responsibility to provide medical facilities to all ailing prisoners on a humanitarian basis.

“A person, who is suffering from cardiac disease, should not be pressurised as it comes under the category of torture. High-ups should become human before being rulers,” Bilawal said. “Mian Nawaz Sharif served as prime minister of Pakistan thrice and PPP demands he should be given medical facilities of his own choice.”

“It is a historical day! Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari became political prisoners in the same jail. PPP leadership and activists also spent time here [at Kot Lakhpat jail] while fighting against dictatorship.”

Bilawal reiterated, “I am here just to inquire about the health of Mian Nawaz Sharif, however, we have also discussed elections, government’s role and Charter of Democracy.”

Slain Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif had signed Charter of Democracy in 2006 and it was the joint failure of Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz for incomplete implementation of the political pact, Bilawal said.

He said that both political parties have not focused on judicial reformations to remove ‘black laws of dictatorship-era” despite agreeing for running the national system under democracy. “Weaknesses persist in the [governance] system must be discussed and I am inviting all political parties to give input in this area.”

Bilawal said that PPP will initiate efforts to bring all political parties on the same platform for complete implementation of the Charter of Democracy.

Answering a question, Bilawal told reporters, “Mian Sahib has himself told me that he becomes an ideological person. In my opinion [after meeting him], I don’t find Mr Sharif in a mood to compromise. I think, conspiracies being made against him [Nawaz Sharif] by those talking about possibilities of another NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance]”Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, while criticising the Finance Minister, said that Asad Umar had delivered a response speech which only focused to lodge criticism against him. “I agree with Asad Umar regarding deteriorated. The Finance Minister had complained about my speech in English and also criticised for why I am associating Bhutto with my name. [Just to clarify him] I am using Bhutto-Zardari with my name,” he said.

The PPP chairman clarified that he had not launched criticism against the incumbent government but only made some reminders. He said that the country exhibited unity which hailed positive message to the international community.

“Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had also delivered his speech where he had showed agreement with my words. Bilawal lashed out at Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying that his speech in Thar was not appropriate in accordance with the current scenario. He urged to maintain such environment which promotes unity among the nationals.

Political analysts have been considering meeting of both leaders of influential parties more than just ‘inquiring about health’ with an anticipation that they would have sorted out next political moves in the prevailing scenario.

Besides, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) Chief Maulana Fazul Rehman has also given a positive sign regarding reunion of the opposition parties.

Apparently, the current scenario seems to reveal the strength of bonding between these parties in the next few days.

Moreover, Bilawal had also presided over a meeting of party members in Lahore, which asked for increased communication between different political parties for placing a joint stance before the government with an aim to deal with Indian aggression.

The meeting also considered calling an all-parties conference.

Earlier, PPP leader Kaira had submitted a request to the Punjab home department on behalf of Bilawal to meet the incarcerated former premier on Saturday. In the request, the PPP chairman sought permission to meet Sharif by stating “It would be appreciated if you could kindly manage this visit for today.”

However, the meeting could not be arranged on the same day.

Later, Prime Minister Imran Khan asked Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to ensure provision of appropriate medical facilities for Sharif according “to treatment of his choice.”