Pakistan's opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif tests positive for coronavirus - GulfToday

Pakistan's opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif tests positive for coronavirus


Shahbaz Sharif (centre) talks to media persons outside the Lahore Hight Court's building. File

Tariq Butt, Correspondent

Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif was tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

He has isolated himself at home, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, who is also in isolation after having been tested positive for virus, said.

Another party leader Ataullah Tarar also confirmed the development and said Shahbaz's life has been endangered by his summoning by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

"The NAB was informed multiple times in writing that Shahbaz has suffered from cancer and compared to other people, his immunity system is weak," Tarar said and added that Sharif had only left home to appear before NAB two days ago.

"Imran Niazi [prime minister] and NAB will be responsible if something happens to Shahbaz Sharif," he said.

The PML-N president had appeared before the NAB on Tuesday in connection with investigations pertaining to money laundering and income-beyond-means.

Earlier this month, he had also appeared before the Lahore High Court to obtain a pre-arrest bail in cases regarding money laundering and assets beyond means. Sharif had filed the appeal in the high court a day before a NAB team raided his residence to arrest him on June 2, after he refused to appear before the accountability watchdog.

Shahbaz had thrice refused to appear before NAB citing health reasons. In a statement submitted to the bureau, he said: "It has been widely reported in the media that some NAB officials have tested positive for COVID-19.

"Please appreciate that I am a cancer survivor and 69 years old. I have been advised limited exposure on account of the peculiar background of low immunity," he said.

He added that he was available to answer any queries by the investigation team via Skype.

Shahbaz is the latest PML-N leader to have tested positive for the virus. Multiple other members of PML-N's top-tier leadership have been diagnosed with the disease, including Aurangzeb, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Ahsan Iqbal and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

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