A senior leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) alleged has said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had not undergone open-heart surgery in London, as was previously claimed. But this point of view isn't necessarily shared by all members of his party.
Speaking on a DawnNews programme, PTI spokesperson Naeemul Haq alleged that Sharif had lied about his recent trip to London.
"I was in London recently and received information from several doctors. Some party members also visited the Harley Street Clinic to try and verify this account, but the information (about the PM's surgery) is sketchy at best," he told Dawn.
Information minister rejects allegation
According to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the prime minister underwent open-heart surgery at a London hospital on May 31.
According to the prime minister's daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif — who kept the nation up-to-date by tweeting updates and photos of the prime minister before and after the procedure — the need for surgery arose after Mr Sharif underwent a procedure known as 'Atrial Fibrillation Ablation' in 2011.
The procedure, which is the treatment for one of the most common cardiac arrhythmias, involves the removal or melting away of an unwanted structure or tissue. During this procedure, certain complications arose, resulting in the perforation of his heart.
When asked whether this was his party's official stance, Haq said, "This is the case to the best of my knowledge. We have not discussed this at the party-level."
He was adamant that whatever happened in London was not an open-heart surgery. "Usually, whenever a procedure like this is carried out, it is the doctors who announce the success of the operation. In this case, no doctor has been named. They are trying to hide something," he insisted.
However, PTI MNA Arif Alvi told Dawn that he personally had no doubts that the prime minister underwent open-heart surgery, but said the nation was kept in the dark about his actual condition.
"If they (PML-N) knew that the prime minister would have to undergo open-heart surgery and he would be away from the country for two months, then someone else should have replaced him to run the affairs of the country," he said.
First, he said, people were told that the prime minister was abroad for treatment. Then news came that he was suffering from heart pain, and then suddenly it was revealed that he would undergo open-heart surgery.
Alvi said that after the procedures, Maryam Nawaz Sharif had stated that both operations had been planned before PM Sharif was admitted to hospital. "If that was the case, then why was the nation not told," he asked.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid vehemently denied the PTI spokesperson's claim, saying the government did not require a certificate from the PTI regarding the prime minister's operation.
The minister said that British doctors were professionals and did not conceal the facts.
"If the PTI has any doubts, why don't they go to the same hospital and get the prime minister's medical report," he asked. ( Courtesy Dawn)