Fact-check: Did Nawaz Sharif’s platelet count drop in jail or NAB’s custody?

Shahbaz Gill’s claim is incorrect. Nawaz Sharif was indeed being held by NAB in Lahore when his blood platelet count dropped

Geo Fact-Check

In an interview politician Maryam Nawaz Sharif said that the blood platelet count of her father and former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, fell dangerously low while he was in the custody of Pakistan’s anti-corruption body, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Soon after, Shahbaz Gill, a senior leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), accused Maryam Sharif of lying, claiming that her father was in jail, not detained by NAB, when his platelets reduced.

Gill’s claim is false.


On March 10, Shahbaz Gill, who is associated with the PTI, tweeted a short clip of an interview Maryam Nawaz Sharif gave to Dawn TV recently.

“He [Nawaz Sharif] was not ill,” said Maryam Sharif, “He was made ill by giving him something that made his platelets drop while in NAB’s custody.”

Captioning the clip, Gill wrote: “Someone should tell Baji that [Sharif’s] platelets reduced while he was in Lahore’s Central Jail not in NAB’s custody. He was in jail and he would get food delivered from home.”

The video has been viewed over 400,000 times and Gill’s tweet has been retweeted over 6,000 times, to date.


Shahbaz Gill’s claim is incorrect.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was indeed being held by the country’s supreme anti-corruption body in Lahore when his blood platelet count fell drastically, as per multiple media reports of that time.

On October 11, 2019, Sharif, who was locked up in Lahore’s Central Jail, was handed over to the NAB for questioning in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills money laundering case by an accountability court.

The court had granted NAB a 14-day physical remand.

On October 21, 2019, NAB rushed Sharif to a public hospital in Lahore after his condition deteriorated.

On the day, Sharif’s personal physician, Dr Adnan Khan had also tweeted that the former prime minister “is detected to have critically low platelet count.”

Thus Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s statement about Nawaz Sharif is accurate.

A timeline of Nawaz Sharif’s arrest, imprisonment and release:

  • On July 13, 2018, Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, were arrested by the National Accountability Bureau officials as the two landed in Lahore from London. The two had been convicted by an accountability court in the Avenfield corruption case.

The pair were shifted to the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, Punjab.

  • Two days later he was moved back to the jail.
  • On September 11, 2018, Sharif was released for five days on parole after his wife died.
  • On September 17, 2018, he was flown back to Adiala Jail.
  • On September 19, 2018, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended the jail sentences of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz in the Avenfield case and released them on bail. The two left Rawalpindi for Lahore.
  • On December 24, 2018, the former prime minister was found guilty of fresh corruption charges related to the Al-Azizia case and sentenced to seven years in jail by an accountability court.

Sharif was shifted to Lahore’s Central Jail the next day after his lawyer sought permission from the court to move him closer to family members.

  • On March 26, 2019, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered his release on bail for six weeks on medical grounds. Sharif moved back to his residence in Lahore.
  • On May 7, 2019, the Supreme Court rejected an application for an extension in his bail. Sharif again surrendered to prison authorities and was imprisoned in Lahore’s Central jail.
  • On October 11, 2019, NAB took him into its custody from the Lahore jail.
  • On October 21, 2019, he was shifted from the NAB’s office to the Services Institute of Medical Sciences in Lahore, after he fell ill.
  • On October 25, the Lahore High Court granted him bail on medical grounds.
  • On October 29, 2019, a two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court suspended his sentence for eight weeks and ordered his release on medical grounds.
  • On November 16, 2019, the Lahore High Court allowed him to travel abroad for four weeks after his brother, Shehbaz Sharif, submitted a written assurance to the court.
  • On November 19, 2019, Sharif left for London for medical treatment.

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