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Former Pakistan president Zardari's daughter alleges manhandling on her visit to meet father

Zardari, 64, was shifted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) from Adiala Jail for a medical checkup on Thursday after his son Bilawal Bhutto blamed the Imran Khan government of denying him medical facilities in the prison.

PTI PTI
Islamabad Updated on: August 31, 2019 23:34 IST
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Former Pakistan president Zardari's daughter alleges manhandling on her visit to meet father

Former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari's daughter has alleged manhandling by police when she went to meet him in hospital, saying she was not allowed to meet her father who was sent back to jail despite being seriously ill, according to a media report.

Zardari, 64, was shifted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) from Adiala Jail for a medical checkup on Thursday after his son Bilawal Bhutto blamed the Imran Khan government of denying him medical facilities in the prison.

However, Zardari, who is also the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman, was shifted back to the jail. Aseefa, during a press conference on Friday, said that the health condition of her father required him to stay in the hospital for further tests and treatment, the Dawn newspaper reported.

"Three of his arteries are completely blocked. He is suffering from severe spinal issues and other ailments," she said. "Denial of medical right is the denial of human rights and justice. It is political victimisation," she said.

Zardari was kept in the hospital amid tight security. All passages to OPD were closed, causing problems for the people. Aseefa later tweeted that she went to see her father with a court order but hospital doors were locked and no patients were allowed in or out, the report said.

"Finally managed to enter only to find police blocking stairs and elevators. Waited for my father at the elevators when police decided to form a chain to stop me from seeing him. Stopped, Pushed, manhandled by police," she tweeted.

"What authority does this selective government have to shut down the entire hospital and deny patients and citizens entry?" she said. Former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, who accompanied Aseefa to the hospital, said: "If something happened to Mr Zardari, then we will hold the selected government accountable.”

Zardari's son Bilawal Bhutto, who visited his father and paternal aunt Faryal Talpur earlier this week in the jail, accused the government of "attempting to kill" Zardari by denying him medical facilities in the prison.

Zardari, the husband of the country's first woman prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a corruption case on July 1. He was shifted to Adiala jail earlier this month.

According to NAB, Zardari is being investigated for his alleged involvement in extending loans and other misappropriation by Parthenon Private Limited, Park Lane Estate Private Limited and others.

The 11th president of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013 has denied any link with the fake accounts. He has said the allegation was part of a vilification campaign by Imran Khan-led ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party to malign the Opposition leaders. 

Zardari was arrested by National Accountability Bureau last month on the charges of corruption. He was sent to Adiala Jail on judicial remand by an Accountability Court judge on August 19.

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