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Jailed Pakistani ex-PM denied medical checkup: Daughter

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KARACHI, 12 Jan 2019 [Fik/News Sources]: Daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has accused the government of not allowing doctors to see her ailing father, who is currently serving a seven-year term in a jail after being convicted in a corruption case.

Maryam Nawaz -- Sharif’s eldest daughter and supposedly political heir -- in a Twitter post alleged that doctors kept waiting outside Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore but authorities did not allow them to see her father.

“He (Sharif) is having pain in his arm, which could be angina,” she said, demanding an immediate medical checkup of the three-time premier.

Ahsan Iqbal, secretary general of Sharif’s party and a former interior minister, warned if “something wrong” happened to the former premier, the party would lodge a case against Prime Minister Imran Khan, the interior minister and other relevant authorities.

In a tweet, he alleged that Sharif had continuously been denied medical treatment.

There was no immediate reaction from the government on the allegations.

A Pakistani court, last month, had sentenced Sharif to seven years in jail in a corruption case, while exonerated in another. Insisting on his innocence, Sharif has already challenged his conviction in the Islamabad High Court, which will start the hearing of his appeal next week.

In September 2017, directed by Pakistan’s Supreme Court, anti-corruption watchdog National Accountability Bureau (NAB) accused Sharif of hiding assets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the name of his then-underage sons during his first two tenures as premier in the early 1990s.

In May last, Sharif, 69, had also been sentenced to 10 years in jail in a corruption case stemming from the whistleblower Panama papers scandal by an accountability court, but the Islamabad High Court suspended the conviction in September, 2018.

In the same case, his daughter Maryam and son-in-Law Mohammad Safdar had also been sentenced to seven years and one year in prison, respectively. The duo are on bail.

In July 2017, Nawaz Sharif was disqualified from office by the Supreme Court over the Panama Papers scandal, which also led to the filing of three corruption cases. Not long after, the top court also barred him from holding his party's leadership.

Sharif served as the premier from 1990 to 1992, 1997 to 1999, and 2013 to 2017, unable to complete even a single five-year term. His two previous governments were dismissed over corruption charges and through bloodless military coup in 1992 and 1999, respectively.

Shehbaz Sharif, his younger brother and three-time chief minister of Punjab, the country's most populous province, is already in NAB custody in connection with a housing scam.

Hamza Shehbaz, Shehbaz Sharif's son and the opposition leader in Punjab Assembly, is also facing inquiries in connection with multiple corruption cases.

Despite the arrests, Sharif's party placed second in general elections this July, securing 82 seats in the 342-seat lower house.

The party bounced back in by-elections in October, clinching some key seats won by Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the general elections. It included a seat won by Khan himself from Lahore in July.

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