Nawaz Sharif with wife Kulsoom Nawaz at the hospital in London. Photo shared by Maryam Nawaz on Twitter on April 20. Image Credit: Courtesy: Twitter

Islamabad: Pakistan’s former Prime Minister is set to return to the country on Sunday, after the accountability court rejected his application seeking exemption from appearing in person until April 27.

The court granted only a one-day exemption to Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz in the Avenfield apartments case, as the hearing is now fixed for April 23.

Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz left for London on April 18 to see the wife of the former prime minister, Kulsoom Nawaz, who is undergoing treatment for cancer at a hospital in London.

Sharif said he would return to Pakistan on Sunday to comply with the legal procedure although he would have liked to spend a week in London with his wife.

Meanwhile daughter Maryam, who has been in the UK since early this week to see Kulsoom Nawaz at the London hospital, tweeted photos of her mother and father stated: “Ami [mom] being taken for radiotherapy. Has become weak & frail due to excessive vomiting. Can’t walk or move unaided. Prayers needed. Thank you.”

Speaking to the media outside the Harley Street Clinic here where his wife is admitted, Nawaz Sharif said she was not well and had been brought regularly to the hospital in recent weeks.

Sharif also said the chemotherapy treatment of his wife had ended and doctors had told him that surgery would be required if cancer recurs.

In his application for extension from appearance in court, filed by his counsel Advocate Amjad Pervez, Sharif stated: “The applicant needs some time to sit with the doctors who are treating her [Kulsoom Nawaz], along with his other family members, to exhaustively discuss all the options available for her treatment, and to thereafter reach a consensus decision on this count in the best interest of his wife.”

“The applicant requests this Honourable Court to grant [him] exemption from personal appearance for seven days with effect from April 20 allowing him to be with his wife in London and settle all her medical affairs before returning to Pakistan and re-joining the trial, which he undertakes to do by next Friday i.e. April 27.”

The counsel also submitted a medical report, dated April 18, of Dr Daniel Krell that stated, “Mrs Sharif has been admitted to the Harley Street Clinic since Monday for symptom control. She is extremely fatigued from a combination of her radiotherapy … She will need to stay in hospital for the duration of her radiotherapy and until her symptoms are better controlled.”

However, rejecting the plea for seven-day exemption, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) special prosecutor Afzal Qureshi said that one of the applicants had earlier attended a public gathering after being exempted from personal appearance before the accountability court for a day.

Judge Mohammad Bashir was quoted as saying that Sharif family could file a new application for further exemption if they failed to make it by the next hearing due to unforeseeable circumstances.