Pakistan PM Imran Khan's nephew gets pre-arrest bail in hospital attack case

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s nephew got pre-arrest bail for his alleged involvement in the deadly riot at a cardiac hospital in Punjab province earlier this month that caused the death of five patients in critical condition, according to a media report. Hassaan Niazi, whose home was raided last week in connection with the protest, applied pre-arrest bail after the police was unable to track him, The Express Tribune reported.

Based on the application, an anti-terrorism court directed the police to not arrest Niazi and asked him to cooperate with the case investigation. At least five patients died and several were in critical condition after hundreds of lawyers stormed and ransacked Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) in Lahore on December 11.

The lawyers said they attacked the doctors and medical staff to avenge an assault by doctors on a fellow advocate two weeks ago. In footage which was televised on national channels, Niazi, who is a lawyer, was seen with the attacking lawyers.

Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hasan Chohan, who had reached the hospital to negotiate with the lawyers was also manhandled. “Even in the war time hospitals are spared but the unruly lawyers today crossed every limit and attacked a health facility causing the death of five patients and injuries to the doctors and paramedics,” Chohan said.

Later, Niazi was named in one of the police FIRs for vandalising a police car parked outside the hospital. In an earlier tweet, which was deleted later, Niazi said, “My support and protest was limited to [the] initiation of legal action against the doctors concerned. I only stand for peaceful protests. It’s [a] sad day and I condemn my own self for supporting this protest now.”

While the prime minister had taken notice of the incident and sought a report from the Punjab Inspector General, he had not commented on his nephew’s actions. PTI