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Supreme Court granted bail to Nawaz Sharif prison number 4470 for VIP medical treatment – All prisoners should be allowed

By Dr Shahid Qureshi: –

I don’t know how I can tell a soldier getting paid approximately Rs. 18000 a month to give his life on the border and save ‘Sharifs and Zardaris, and Buhttos” from the Hindu fundamentalists of BJP and RSS so they can loot the wealth of Pakistan and run off to London? It is hard after two Supreme court and a Lahore high court judgement in last seven days.

Pakistani Supreme Court on granted bail six weeks bail to the convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif prison number 4470 to have medical treatment within the country. On the same day Lahore High court granted relief to his younger brother and ordered to remove his name from the exit control list (ECL) so he could travel abroad. Earlier on Supreme of Pakistan gave relief to Malik Riaz Hussian of Bahria Town and all his accomplices involved in ‘Great Land Robbery’ of over Rs 30,000 billion in the history of world. The above three examples proves one point that there is no law and accountability for Rich and Mighty in Pakistan and if it continues like that the state will have bigger challenges which men in uniform will not be able to control and that was the plan by Indians ‘Why kill them when you make them corrupt’ as former RAW chief AS Daulat wrote in his book.  

If the above relief cannot be given to the common people and only rich get relief from courts, then we may as well shut these courts down after all people of this region survived without the Supreme Court for centuries. No?

It seems courts in Pakistan got drunk and judges have complete disconnect with the ground realities and challenges Pakistan facing from all sides. I have dealt with courts and mafias for many years and have firsthand experience of judicial system.  Some one was telling me the way judiciary is at the moment and how judges are recruited form certain chambers it would be impossible to any one to bring any high-profile criminals to justice. I have seen these VIP criminals queue up in London busses and tube stations. Their name list is surely with the concerned authorities and the moment any one misbehaves ‘they would be arrested for ‘new unexplained wealth legislation’.

The civil judiciary and Police are so rotten that they can not cope with the pressures from even a local land mafia let alone big guns who looted the national wealth from all sides.

Earlier Sharifs submitted and made public a medical certificate of late Kulsum Nawaz in which consultant said: he gave CPR for 15 minutes to Kulsom Nawaz’. I showed this to another consultant, and he was of the view’ if we give 4 min CPR chances of patient being brain dead are much higher’.

It is really shameful that Sharifs were /are in power for over 40 years and did not build a single hospital where they could receive medical treatment and single university where their kids could study’.

The Dawn reported: “A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa accepted a petition for bail on medical grounds after directing Sharif to deposit two surety bonds worth Rs5 million each.

The short order, read out by the chief justice in Court Room No 1, warned that Sharif will have to surrender himself to jail authorities once the six weeks are over. If he fails to surrender, he will be arrested. Sharif was further barred from leaving the country. In case Sharif wishes to apply for further relief on medical grounds after the six weeks are up, he will have to petition the relevant high court, the order said.

Khawaja Haris, Sharif’s legal counsel, had requested bail for eight weeks citing an “urgent angiography” required by Sharif. After the short order was announced, Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz expressed her relief via a tweet. Several PML-N leaders, including former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, welcomed the decision in talks with the media.

Sharif has been serving a seven-year prison sentence awarded to him by an accountability court in the Al Azizia corruption case. The former premier had earlier filed a bail plea in the IHC on medical grounds, but it was turned down last month, as the high court noted that “none of the reports [about Sharif’s condition] suggest that continued incarceration of the petitioner, in any way, would be detrimental to his life”.

As the hearing began, Sharif’s lawyer Haris apprised the court of the former premier’s medical record. The chief justice observed at the outset that Haris had submitted an additional document to the court, which the lawyer explained was a letter from one Dr Lawrence to Dr Adnan. When the court inquired who Dr Adnan was, Haris replied saying he was Sharif’s personal physician. Justice Khosa remarked that the document was correspondence between “‘Person A’ and ‘Person B'” and not addressed to the court. He therefore questioned the legal status of the letter. “How can we determine this letter’s authenticity? This letter has been written by a private individual to another private individual,” Justice Khosa said, adding that the bench had only read it because it was submitted by Haris. “How can this letter be presented as evidence?” he asked. Sharif’s lawyer clarified that he was “not depending upon the letter” in this case.

Sharifs presented a Qatari Prince letter in the supreme court of Pakistan in which the author refused to come to the court to testify his letter.

Justice Khosa subsequently asked if the petitioner had any other proof of Sharif’s deteriorating health apart from Dr Lawrence’s letter. “Should we believe Dr Lawrence’s letter as it is? If he had said that [Sharif’s] kidney ailment has reached stage four, should we have believed that as well?” the chief justice asked, adding: “You are building your case on medical grounds, and all we have [as evidence] is Dr Lawrence’s letter.” “Can we take a letter as a basis [of proof] in a criminal case?” Justice Khosa asked.

Haris cited PPP leader Asim Hussain’s case, who had been granted bail on similar grounds and was also allowed to go abroad. The chief justice warned that a worsening medical condition was the “best basis” for securing bail if “it’s not misused”.

In order to secure bail on medical grounds, the chief justice said, Sharif’s counsel would have to prove that the former premier’s health is deteriorating. Sharif would also have to prove that staying in jail would threaten his life, Justice Khosa said. According to Sharif’s medical reports, Justice Khosa remarked, the former prime minister had been suffering from heart ailments since 2003. The chief justice further observed that despite suffering from these medical conditions for several years, Sharif had “quite an active routine”.

He further noted that different people had “several types of medical histories but they survive”. He added that the court had already reviewed Sharif’s medical reports submitted earlier and nothing in the them suggested that Sharif was in danger. “The [medical] history you are telling [the court about] is old,” Justice Khosa said. “We want to see if bail can be granted keeping in view these medical conditions.”

“Are the hospitals and doctors in Pakistan not eligible for Nawaz Sharif’s treatment?” Justice Khosa asked, saying that the court could simply order the former prime minister be treated in a hospital in Pakistan.

However, Haris continued to insist that Sharif would be “stressed” if he remains in jail. He added that it would not be “appropriate” to treat him while he is under stress. The chief justice noted that Sharif is a convict and added that even if the court grants him bail for a few weeks, he will have to return to jail, where he will face similar stressful conditions.

Separately, NAB’s legal counsel, during his arguments, said that none of Sharif’s reports mentioned his ailments and had merely recommended checkups. He insisted that the former prime minister was being “monitored 24 hours a day”. He refuted Haris’ argument that Sharif is suffering from a life-threatening disease.

Justice Yahya Afridi, who was part of the bench, asked: “If his [Sharif] life is not in danger then why have the medical boards recommended that he goes through an angiography?”

Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, the third member of the bench, said that NAB had shifted Sharif from “one hospital to another”. “You [NAB] should open a hospital,” the chief justice said, and asked why every person who was being investigated by NAB faced mental duress. “NAB’s attitude is such that people have started to commit suicide,” he said, adding that the top court was “looking into that matter as well”.”

The above comment from a judge seems as if these people (Sharifs) under investigation and convicted are mere petty thieves and not who looted billions from the national exchequer.

I would humbly request the Supreme Court of Pakistan to collect data from all Prisons in Pakistan as how many prisoners are with serious heart conditions, Hep C, kidney problems, lungs disease and diabetes.  They all should be given bail to have treatment with their families in the hospital of their choice and abroad too like DR Asim Hussain who was charged with over Rs. 430 Billion corruption.

If the above can not be done for the common people and only rich get relief from courts, then we may as well shut down these courts after people of this region survived without the Supreme Court for centuries. No?

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Azerbaijan April 2018, Kazakhstan 2015 and 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. At Government College Lahore he wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ and studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University. He is a visiting Professor at Hebe University in China.)

Views expressed are not of The London Pot


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