After former Pakistan President Nawaz Sharif was admitted to the hospital owing to his deteriorating health, the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) founder, Altaf Hussain, stirred a controversy by saying that the 69-year-old leader was being slowly poisoned with polonium.
On November 2, Hussain had tweeted: "Lower platelets count in Nawaz Sharif's body! A known fact is that 'Polonium' (a radioactive element) is used to eliminate enemies. It acts as a slow poison and destroys platelets. Only specialised radioactive laboratory can verify it. The international laboratory must examine it."
After several questioned were raised regarding his claims, he tweeted a research article titled – "Polonium – A perfect poison".
"Dear Students and Followers! Here is my research article on 'Polonium-A Perfect Poison' in reply to questions put up by people about my 2nd November 2019 tweet regarding #Polonium. I tried my level best to give answers on this important subject. Please read it thoroughly," Hussain wrote.
He went on to say that Yasser Arafat, Irene Joliot Curie (1956), a Nobel Laureate and daughter of Madam Curie and Alexander Litvinenko (2006) are some of the known/suspicious victims of polonium poisoning.
"The mysterious and deteriorating medical condition of any person exposed to polonium need some serious screening and thorough investigations from globally recognised and reputed radioactive laboratories," added Hussain.
One of the most deadly toxins, Polonium can enter the body through inhalation, swallowing and broken skin. When inhaled, it can cause lung cancer. When swallowed, it can become concentrated in red blood cells, before spreading to the liver, kidneys, bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract and the testicles or ovaries. It can destroy one's DNA and lead to cell death and cancer.
Nawaz Sharif's health
After being admitted to the hospital Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) in Lahore on October 22 due to "critically" low platelet count, Nawaz Sharif was discharged on November 6 and shifted to his residence.
An Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has been set up at Sharif's residence and the doctors have disallowed people from visiting him, Marriyum Aurangzeb, the spokesperson of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), said.
Adding that there were chances that an infection might develop due to low platelet counts, Aurangzeb said the doctors had suggested the setting up of a special medical unit at Sharif's residence.
"The unit was set up under the supervision of Sharif's personal physician Dr Adnan Khan and the doctors will be present in the ICU round the clock," she added.
Sharif was granted bail by the Islamabad High Court on October 29 on medical grounds. The ailing Pakistani leader was serving a seven-year imprisonment in the Al Azizia and Chaudhry Sugar Mills corruption cases