Asia Pacific / Politics

Former Pakistan leader Sharif falls sick in prison, will be moved to hospital

AFP-JIJI

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, jailed earlier this month over graft charges, has fallen sick inside prison and is being moved to a hospital, a minister said Sunday.

Sharif and his daughter were jailed on July 13 after a graft court sentenced them to 10 and seven years respectively over properties in Britain which emerged in the wake of the Panama Papers revelations.

Caretaker Punjab province Home Minister Shaukat Javed said on state-run Pakistan Television that doctors had advised his transfer to hospital after an electrocardiogram had shown “variations.”

“How many days he stays in hospital depends on doctors,” Javed said, adding that the former prime minister will be transferred to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad.

Sharif, who claims he is being targeted by the country’s powerful security establishment, is fighting for his political life after his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party lost last Wednesday’s election to rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led by former cricket hero Imran Khan.

Sharif’s brother, Shahbaz, who heads the party now, has rejected election results along with other parties who have demanded fresh elections and announced they will protest against alleged election rigging.

The protests announcement late Friday came as the United States, the European Union and other observers aired reservations over widespread claims that the powerful military had tried to fix the playing field in Khan’s favor.

Khan’s victory represents an end to decades of rotating leadership between the PML-N and the Bhutto dynasty’s Pakistan Peoples Party that was punctuated by periods of military rule.

The vote was meant to be a rare democratic transition in the Muslim country, which has been ruled by the powerful army for roughly half its history.

But it was marred by violence and allegations of military interference in the months leading up to the vote, with Khan seen as the beneficiary.