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Nawaz Sharif's wife Kulsoom passes away after prolonged illness

Kulsoom Nawas had been placed on life support earlier in the day

Image Credit:Reuters

Islamabad: Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, died of cancer in London on Tuesday.

Nawaz, 68, who was first lady of Pakistan three times, was diagnosed with lymphoma in August last year and had been receiving treatment at a private hospital in London for months.

Parole for Nawaz Shrief, family

Pakistan's jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar will be granted parole to attend the funeral of Begum Kulsoom, a media report said.

The three will be granted parole from the time of Kulsoom's funeral prayers till her burial, Geo TV reported, citing the Interior Ministry sources.

Sharif, Maryam and Safdar are currently serving jail terms in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi after being convicted by an accountability court in a corruption case in July.

A request is necessary for parole to be granted, the sources added.

Kulsoom, the wife of Sharif, died Tuesday in London after a long battle with cancer. She was 68.

According to sources, the Sharif family has decided to bring back Kulsoom's body to Pakistan, it said.

"She will be laid to rest in Pakistan," the family confirmed.

Imran Khan condoles Kulsoom's death

Prime Minister Imran Khan has condoled the death of Kulsoom and said all facilities will be provided to her family as per law.

"Sad to learn of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's death. She was a courageous woman of great dignity and confronted her disease with fortitude. My condolences and prayers go to the Sharif family," Imran tweeted.

The prime minister has directed the Pakistan High Commission in London to assist in provision of all necessary facilities to the family of the deceased, said an official statement. 

Sharif was ousted from the premiership a month before his wife's diagnosis.




He and the couple's daughter Maryam Nawaz had left her in London and returned to Pakistan on July 13 this year in a bid to motivate support for the PML-N days before a general election.

They were immediately jailed for corruption, with the party losing the July 25 election to Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Sharif had been banned from running, but maintained his control over his eponymous party, and his return was seen as a failed gamble to save his political legacy.

Kulsoom Nawaz had been at her husband's side throughout his decades-long political career, which saw him become prime minister of Pakistan three times while facing military coups, prison and exile.

When he was first imprisoned after a military coup in 1999, she took over leadership of the party and led rallies in the streets.

The newly-elected Imran Khan, a former cricket hero who had campaigned against the Sharifs for his entire 22-year-long political career, sent his condolences Tuesday.

"The Pakistan High Commission in the UK has been directed to provide all possible assistance to facilitate the heirs of Mrs. Kulsoom Nawaz," his office said in a statement.

Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto called Kulsoom a "brave woman" who struggled for democracy.

Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also extended his condolences "to the bereaved family on the sad demise of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz".