LAHORE - Punjab Cabinet on Tuesday rejected a plea filed by ex-Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif seeking extension in his stay abroad for medical treatment.

The Cabinet was briefed that required medical reports of Nawaz Sharif were not provided despite repeated reminders of the Medical Board and the Special Committee comprising of Provincial Ministers Raja Basharat and Dr Yasmeen Rashid.

This Committee was constituted on the direction of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on February 11th. This committee held its meetings on 19th, 20th and 21st of February. The PML-N leader Attaullah Tarrar personally attended the meeting on February 21 while Dr Adnan participated through Skype.

The representatives of Nawaz Sharif, instead of submitting new verified medical reports, stressed that old medical reports should be treated as final. The report of the Special Committee was presented before Punjab Cabinet which unanimously decided to reject Nawaz Sharif’s application for granting extension in a suspended sentence.

“There is no moral, legal and medical justification to allow extension in the suspended sentence of Mian Nawaz Sharif”, Punjab Minister for Law observed while briefing reporters about the Cabinet decision.

He said that Committee’s recommendations were being sent to the Federal government for legal action. 

Provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said that the Mian Nawaz Sharif was sent abroad on the promise of sending abdominal scan and the bone marrow report. “These reports were not sent by his personal physician, Dr Adnan, despite repeated requests”, she said, adding, that Nawaz Sharif’s absence from any hospital abroad showed he does not need further treatment.

“Our doctors correctly diagnosed Nawaz Sharif’s illness and issued medical reports. We had never desired to send Nawaz Sharif abroad for medical treatment. During the course of treatment at Nawaz Sharif’s hospital, the media was informed daily of his medical condition. Nawaz Sharif is an old patient of heart and diabetes, the diseases no doctor could cure in a day”, the Minister elaborated her point. 

Raja Basharat said that Mian Nawaz Sharif was given eight weeks bail by the court with some conditions and the Special Committee gave him another eight weeks time. 

The Minister noted that Nawaz Sharif was taken to London for treatment in a critical condition but neither he was admitted to the hospital nor he underwent any kind of operation so far.

“Medical Board has declared Mian Nawaz Sharif’s reports unsatisfactory, so the Special Committee recommended not to extend the bail.

Punjab Cabinet also agreed with the recommendation”, he stated.

Information Minister Fayyazul Hasan Chohan chided by stating “For the past two days, Rana Sanaullah has been confidently claiming that Nawaz Sharif would be operated on Feb. 24, but yesterday his “cross-border raid” broke out”.

In a sarcastic comment, the Information Minister said that the entire leadership of the PML-N had been infected with ‘Rona’ virus and for the next three years, they will be the victims of this virus. 

“Nawaz Sharif has sent a clear message to his voters and leadership in Pakistan by calling his family’s most important person, Begum Shamim Sharif, in London that they have no plan to return”., he remarked.

He also said that the Punjab Government was the most important stakeholder in the whole matter who has to decide when Nawaz Sharif will return to Pakistan.

The Cabinet meeting also decided to amend Sections 2(S), 21 and 38 of Punjab Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation & Management) Amendment Act, 2007 to increase the amount of fines and sentences for illegal hunting in the province.

It was also decided that fines and sentences will be further enhanced for poaching before hunting season to be started from November 1, 2020.

The meeting decided to grant permission for the hunting of 62 surplus blackbucks, 21 Chinkara deer and 27 blue bull (Nilgai) in Cholistan desert.

The Punjab Occupational Safety & Health Amendment Health, 2019 was approved while amendment in Punjab Fisheries Rules, 1965 was deferred.

Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said that complaints of contaminated water had come to surface due to fish farming in dams that also provide potable water.

“Therefore, this matter should be reviewed in detail by health, irrigation, public health engineering departments and other stakeholders and final recommendations should be presented in the next meeting”, he directed the concerned authorities.

The meeting also decided to effectively implement necessary precautionary measures in the wake of the situation arising due to the presence of coronavirus in neighbouring countries.

The Chief Minister directed the line departments to remain vigilant and the meeting was told that additional staff of the Health Department will be posted at airports.

The Chief Minister said that there should be no shortage of eatables being imported from neighbouring countries especially China and Iran.

He directed Industries Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal to hold the meeting and adopt advance measures after a detailed review.

The Chief Minister maintained that Punjab government adopted unprecedented measures and the wrong culture of the one-man show had been done away with.

The decisions made with consultations yield positive results and the government will go to every extent to provide relief to the people, he added.

The Chief Minister noted that timely decisions had helped in overcoming price-hike and the political, as well as administrative teams, should efficiently work to control prices because people cannot be left alone. “It is essential to crush the mafia ,wherever, it exists”, he said. 

The meeting also endorsed minutes of 24th Cabinet meeting. Provincial Ministers, Advisers, Special Assistants, Chief Secretary and concerned secretaries attended the meeting.