LONDON: Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, on Tuesday passed away at London’s Harley Street Clinic after a prolonged battle with cancer.
The news was confirmed by PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif. Kulsoom Nawaz is survived by her husband and four children, Hassan, Hussain, Maryam and Asma.
“My sister-in-law and wife of Mian Nawaz Sharif, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz is no more. May her soul rest in peace,” Shehbaz Sharif said in a twitter announcement.
“Nawaz Sharif had always consulted Kulsoom Nawaz during his tough hours. She [Kulsoom Nawaz] challenged dictatorship courageously,” stated Shehbaz while adding at the same time late Kulsoom’s affiliation with democracy was proven and time-tested.
Shehbaz added nation will always remember services of Kulsoom Nawaz for democracy.
Her condition deteriorated moments before her death following which she was shifted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She will be laid to rest at Jati Umra in Lahore however, day and time are yet to be revealed.
Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz, who are serving sentence in Adiala Jail, have also been informed about the demise of Begum Kulsoom. The former first lady was diagnosed with lymphoma (throat cancer) in August 2017 after which, she was shifted to London’s Harley Street Clinic for treatment.
Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz had flown to London several times to inquire about the health of Kulsoom Nawaz. Family sources told that Begum Kulsoom had inquired about Nawaz and Maryam last night but was not informed about their conviction.
Her funeral prayers will be offered at Regent’s Park in London tonight and her body will be brought back to Pakistan on Friday. She will be buried alongside Mian Sharif, her father-in-law, at Jati Umra.
PM Khan expresses sorrow, directs legal assistance
Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi expressed sorrow over the demise of Kulsoom Nawaz. As per details garnered, Imran termed late Kulsoom Nawaz a courageous woman.
He also directed Pakistan’s High Commissioner in London to provide every possible legal assistance to relatives of the Kulsoom Nawaz.
President Arif Alvi said: “I express my sincere regrets on the sad demise of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz. My condolences to the Sharif family on this loss. May her soul rest in peace.”
The Pakistani High Commission in London said it had received orders to shift the dead body. Sources in London said the staff arrived at Harley Street Clinic to assist the Sharif family. An official of the Pakistan High Commission had been appointed in this regard.
Army chief condoles death
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa condoled the demise with the Sharif family, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
“COAS expresses his grief and heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family on sad demise of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz. ‘May Allah bless the departed soul eternal peace at Heaven – Ameen,’” said the statement.