London/Islamabad, May 31 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday underwent open heart surgery at a private hospital in central London, his second cardiac procedure in five years, his family said.
"Alhamdulliah, he was very calm and in high spirits when he was taken to the operating room. He and family recited Quran before he went in for surgery," his son Hussain Nawaz told Geo News.
Sharif "was in high spirits" when he went in to the operating theatre at about 8.00 a.m., his daughter Maryam Nawaz also said in a message sent through her Twitter account. She did not say how long the surgery was expected to take.
According to family members, the prime minister spoke to his mother over telephone before going into the theatre.
Sharif, 66, left for London earlier this week for medical check-up when his doctors decided to carry out the surgery.
All the necessary medical tests ahead of the surgery were completed, the prime minister's spokesperson Musaddik Malik told reporters on Monday. Sharif would stay at the hospital for a few days after surgery and later he would be shifted home, he said.
Special prayers were offered by people ahead of the prime minister's surgery. Sharif's staunch opponent and political rival, PTI chief Imran Khan, also wished him health and speedy recovery.
People from all over the world, including key world leaders and notable personalities, called the prime minister before the surgery to convey their well wishes.
Turkish president Tayyab Erdogan called PM Nawaz Sharif and expressed his hope for his early recovery.
Sharif also spoke to his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. Vikas Swarup, spokesman for India's External Affairs ministry, said on Twitter that Modi received a phone call from Nawaz Sharif, and that the Indian prime minister wished his Pakistani counterpart a speedy recovery.