Disgraced Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif flies to London for medical treatment

Disgraced Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif flies to London for medical treatment

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif reached London on Tuesday night for medical treatment in a "high-end air ambulance" which was equipped with an intensive care unit and an operation theatre a day after his name was removed from the no-fly list on the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC).

Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Party (PML-N) aides were present to receive the 69-year-old party chief, who was accompanied by his brother Shehbaz Sharif and personal physician as he was taken to his London residence in the posh Park Lane area of the British capital.

But his departure has led to speculation a deal with the government is in the offing, allowing him to seek exile overseas in return for his freedom.

Last week the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan demanded he pay a bond of seven billion Pakistani rupees ($45m) as a condition of his travel - which the PML-N, immediately rejected.

With Nawaz Sharif having left for London all eyes are on the next development after his court allotted time limit expires to reveal if he is going to return or if it's another case of the awaam having been fooled by politicians. He recently secured eight weeks bail on medical grounds from the Islamabad High Court in the Al-Azizia Mills corruption case in which he was serving seven years imprisonment.

Nawaz Sharif's wife Kulsoom died of throat cancer in London previous year. The Sharif family has denied all corruption charges and termed them as politically motivated.

"I hope he comes back, but I don't expect that he will", Imran Khan's cabinet minister Fawad Chaudhry told a news conference.

On Oct. 25, Sharif was granted bail and he obtained court clearance to leave the country for medical treatment.

During his tenure, Sharif had a bitter relationship with Pakistan's powerful military establishment and did not complete any of his three five-year terms as prime minister. Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry also reacted to Sharif going overseas and said that the "journey from "why was I expelled" to "expel me for God's sake" is now approaching its end".

Sharif's first stint as prime minister, from 1990 to 1993, ended when then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed him amid corruption allegations. His two previous governments were dismissed over corruption charges and through bloodless military coups in 1992 and 1999.

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