Analysis: Not the first time Aitzaz Ahsan hit below the belt

Aitzaz Ahsan is a renowned politician, lawyer and author. Despite his stature and credibility, he has twice passed remarks against the Sharif family that were not well received.

Agenda 360 hosts Haider Waheed and Moiz Jaferii discussed his remarks on Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, who has been on life support at Harley Street Clinic in London since June 14. Ahsan said that while he prayed for Begum Kulsoom’s recovery, “no news comes out of her ward”.

“No doctor comes out to give a briefing,” said the PPP leader on Thursday. “Everything happens behind closed doors. Harley Street Clinic is not a hospital. It’s a clinic.”

He then became sarcastic. “It’s such a clinic where open-heart surgeries are conducted and cancer treatment is also given,” he said. “In reality, the clinic seems to be the property of Mian Nawaz Sharif. All of these are delaying tactics so that the court cannot give its verdict in time.”

Jaferii mentioned how Ahsan passed similar remarks on another TV programme when the former PM underwent heart surgery in 2016.”If it’s an open-heart surgery, the patient cannot lift their arm to wave,” he said. “And his most loving daughter did not go there at all. The father is having an open-heart surgery and Maryam bibi is sitting in Islamabad.”

Jaferii said: “Just because you read in a 150-year-old dictionary that a surgery cannot happen at a clinic, you would say that 500 people who were present there are all part of a lie?”

He questioned the barrister’s ‘medical expertise’. “You tell us in 2018 that you read in some Sherlock Holmes book that if you have a heart surgery, you can’t lift your arm for seven days? None of this is true.”

According to Jaferii, these are all shameful things to say. Waheed said that even though Ahsan has a credible name, it is extremely disappointing to see him pass such remarks.

“Without getting emotional, these are very speculative things to say,” said Waheed. “You can’t even join the dots in terms of logic. This is not even medical logic.”

Yet Ahsan said it on stage, said Jaferii. “I cannot fathom that Aitzaz Ahsan said these things without malice for the second time,” he said. According to him, a man of his stature cannot commit such a stupidity for the second time.

“This is not just stupidity, there is malice,” said Waheed. “Aitzaz Ahsan is not a stupid man at all.”

According to Waheed, the former PM would not use his wife’s health for political gain. “Mr Sharif can be criticised for many other things,” he said. But he is a good man to his immediate family, he said. “I don’t think he would do politics in his wife’s name. Even if you had evidence to support such a claim, you would think 10 times before saying such stuff.”

Jaferii said that even if it was Asif Ali Zardari in Mr Sharif’s place and Benazir Bhutto had been sick, this kind of commentary would not be okay.