Three days on: Sindh governor still in hospital

Published: November 16, 2016
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KARACHI: For the past three days, the newly appointed Sindh Governor Justice (retd) Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui is admitted in a private hospital amid reports that he is suffering from multiple health issues.

The doctors, working at South City Hospital, refused to speak much about his health but the Governor House spokesperson said Siddiqui is facing breathing problem as he has chest infection. Family sources said doctors have advised the governor some rest.

According to hospital sources the governor has been shifted from ICU to a room and he is improving. Dr Muneer Mahar, the hospital’s medical director, told The Express Tribune that Siddiqui is stable. “I cannot give you further details as we respect the patient’s privacy,” he said.

Siddiqui, 79, fell ill soon after taking oath as the province’s 30th governor and postponed his visit to the mausoleum of Qauid-e-Azam to pay homage to the founder of the nation. Earlier the Governor House claimed that Siddiqui was well and did not go to the mausoleum due to the ongoing construction work.

But a day later reports started pouring in suggesting that the governor was actually not well. He went to a private hospital where doctors admitted him.

“There is infection in his chest. We have put him under observation and will decide today whether or not to discharge him,” said a doctor, requesting not to be named.  “He is around 80-year-old. It may be the age-factor or lungs ailment he is suffering from,” he added.

Some reports suggested that the condition of the new governor is deteriorating, but Governor House spokesperson and hospital sources did not confirm it.

The appointment of Siddiqui as a governor has stirred a debate in Sindh.  Many people are wondering why this elderly and ailing person has been installed on such a coveted post.

Sindhi writer Zulfiqar Halepoto claimed the ruling PML-N wanted to pay back Siddiqui, who, he alleged, indirectly supported the PML-N’s second government in 1997.

“After the 18th Amendment, the governor is a ceremonial post, but it should have been given to a healthy person,” he added.

Justice Siddiqui’s appointment as Sindh governor came after the federal government removed Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan.

“Doctor Ebad was an active individual; however, with the induction of a new governor, activities at Governor House will slacken,” said senior journalist Sohail Sangi.

He called Siddiqui’s appointment a ‘non-serious decision’ on the part of the PML-N, adding that removal of Ebad and appointment of Siddiqui did not take place all of sudden. The PML-N Sindh Chapter President Ismail Rahu, however, said the decision was made on merit because Siddiqui has been a well reputed judge and apolitical person.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2016.

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