Former premier Nawaz Sharif, jailed earlier this month over graft charges, has fallen sick inside prison and is being moved to hospital, a minister said on 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 Panama Papers revelations.
Caretaker home minister for Punjab province 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 P.M. was being transferred to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad. A subsequently issued notification confirmed that the private ward in which Sharif is being treated has been declared a sub-jail for the length of his stay.
Sharif, who claims he is being targeted by the country’s security establishment, is fighting for his political life after his Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) party lost an election on Wednesday to rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led by former cricket hero Imran Khan. His brother Shahbaz, who heads the party now, has rejected election results along with other parties who have demanded fresh elections and announced they would protest against alleged election rigging.
The protests announcement late on Friday came as the United States, the European Union and other observers aired reservations over widespread claims that the military had tried to fix the playing field in Khan’s favor. The military has repeatedly denied these assertions, stating it has “no direct role in the elections.”
Khan’s victory represents an end to decades of rotating leadership between the PMLN 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 Army for roughly half its history. But it was marred by violence and allegations of interference in the months leading up to the vote, with Khan seen as the beneficiary.