ISLAMABAD - Pakistan's jailed former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, is said to be suffering from "serious" health problems and his opposition political party is accusing the government of delaying treatment.
Sharif, 69, is serving a seven-year prison term handed down last year by an anti-corruption court for failing to disclose the source of his income that was used to acquire a steel mill in Saudi Arabia.
He was rushed to a government hospital in the eastern city of Lahore earlier this week after his personal physician reported Sharif's alarmingly low platelet count.
Doctors told reporters Thursday that Sharif's condition was improving and his platelets count "increased from 7,000 to 20,000."
The hospital administration, according to local media, confirmed the three-time former Pakistani prime minister was diagnosed with "immune thrombocytopenia" disease, which causes the breakdown of blood cells.
The government of Prime Minister Imran Khan has rejected as politically motivated allegations by the opposition Pakistan Muslim League (N) party that its imprisoned ailing leader is being denied proper treatment.
"Political differences notwithstanding, my sincere prayers are with Nawaz Sharif for his health," Khan tweeted Thursday. "I have directed all concerned to ensure provision of the best possible health care and medical treatment to him."
Sharif's daughter and PML-N's de facto leader, Maryam Nawaz, was also convicted along with her father, though a court has suspended her sentence. But she was recently taken into custody in connection with another graft case against the Sharif family.
Asif Ali Zardari, another top politician and a former president of the country, has also been detained along with several other senior leaders of his party on corruption and money laundering charges.
Khan maintains his government has nothing to do with the corruption cases instituted against the detained politicians by Pakistan's autonomous anti-corruption National Accountability Bureau (NAB), saying legal process was already underway when his administration took office more than a year ago.