'Zardari shifted to jail on recommendations of Medical Board'

PESHAWAR: Federal Interior Minister Brigadier Retired Ijaz Shah has said that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s place is a jail where he should be.

Talking at Geo News program, Shah said that it is not the responsibility of jail officials to transfer the patient from prison cell to hospital as Zardari is in the custody of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the doctors’ panel can decide whether he can stay in jail or in the hospital.

The Minister said that whenever a patient becomes ill in jail, prison doctor will treat him first. He added if the medical board is set up, it sees the patient and then the patient is taken to jail or hospital only on the recommendation of the medical board.

“The government is not involved in this case, he is a prisoner of NAB and in jail,” said the interior minister. “When he (Zardari) tells the medical board that his condition is worse, he is shifted to PIMs Hospital.”

Responding to questions about government pressure on doctors of the medical board, the interior minister said that the doctors of the medical board never worked under any pressure. He made it clear that if anything happens to Zardari, the medical board will be questioned first.

“Is it also the responsibility of the government that the prisoner has become ill? it is from Allah,” the minister said

On August 29, the co-chairman and former president of PPP Asif Ali Zardari were shifted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMs) for medical examination. Hospital sources said that Asif Ali Zardari suffered from back pain and heart issues, on which he had various tests. Later, former President Asif Ali Zardari was transferred from the hospital to Adiala jail after the test was completed.

However, on August 30, Zardari’s daughter Asifa Bhutto had warned that if anything happened to her father, the ‘selected’ government would be responsible for it. “The doctors told me that they were being pressured to transfer Asif Zardari to jail,” she has alleged.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested former president in Islamabad High Court on June 10 after his pre-arrest bail was rejected in a fake accounts case. On August 16, the court transferred the former president to Adiala Jail on judicial remand. After the transfer, the PPP leaders accused the government of not providing health services to Asif Ali Zardari.