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Plane carrying body of Pakistani ex-PM Nawaz Sharif's wife reaches Lahore

Kulsoom died Tuesday in a London hospital after a long battle with cancer.

Image Credit: AP
Kulsoom Nawaz

LAHORE, Pakistan: A plane carrying the body of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's wife has reached the eastern city of Lahore, where she will be buried later Friday.

Kulsoom Nawaz died at a hospital this week after remaining in critical condition for months.

Sharif's supporters are gathering outside his home to attend the funeral of 68-year-old Nawaz, who underwent surgery for throat cancer last year.

Pakistani authorities have temporarily freed Sharif, his daughter and her husband from a prison to allow them to attend last rituals of Nawaz.

Sharif and two of his family members are currently serving prison terms in a corruption case.

Pakistan's Supreme Court last year disqualified Sharif from holding office and later an anti-graft tribunal convicted him and his relatives.

Funeral prayers held in London

On Thursday, hundreds of people attended the funeral prayers of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz at a London mosque, as legal formalities were completed to take her body to Pakistan for burial.

The funeral prayers at London's Regent Park mosque, which is separate from another one to take place in Lahore Friday, were attended by her sons Hassan and Hussain, brother-in-law Shehbaz Sharif, former ministers Chaudhry Nisar and Ishaq Dar among others.

Kulsoom died Tuesday in a London hospital after a long battle with cancer. She was 68. She would be buried on Friday in the Jati Umra Lahore residence of the Sharif family. She will be laid to rest near the graves of her father-in-law Mian Sharif and brother-in-law Abbas Sharif.

Her body will be flown back to Pakistan Thursday night on a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight scheduled to depart from Heathrow Airport for Lahore, Geo TV reported.

Shehbaz Sharif along with Kulsoom Nawaz's daughter Asma, grandson (Hussain Nawaz's son) and other family members will bring her body back to Pakistan.

Citing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, the chanel said the funeral prayers of the former first lady will be offered Friday at Sharif Medical City in Jati Umra at 5pm (local time).

Sharif's sons, Hassan and Hussain, will not travel to Pakistan for their mother's funeral. Both have been declared absconders by an accountability court in the corruption cases.

Meanwhile, legal formalities have been completed and the family has received a death certificate issued by the Harley Street Clinic, where Kulsoom died Tuesday, the channel said.

They have also received the "out-of-England" letter from the coroner's court, paving the way for the departure of her body for Lahore Thursday evening.

On Wednesday night, when Shehbaz arrived in London, Sharif's son Hussain hugged him and broke down into tears.

Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (retd) M Safdar, currently serving jail terms in the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi after being convicted by an accountability court in a corruption case in July, have been released on parole to attend Kulsoom's funeral.

They were initially granted a 12-hour parole.

Later, the Punjab province home department said the period of parole has been extended until 12 am on Monday.

In Lahore, Sharif Thursday visited the Sharif Medical City to oversee arrangements for his deceased wife's last rites.

He was accompanied by his son-in-law Safdar, grandson Junaid Safdar, and nephew Salman Shahbaz. He also met some PML-N leaders at Sharif Medical City.

PML-N leaders and workers including former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khurram Dastagir, Malik Pervaiz, Saad Rafique, Ameer Muqam, Ali Pervaiz, Uzma Bokhari and Rana Mohammad Iqbal visited Jati Umra to offer their condolences.

However, they could not get a chance to condole with Sharif.

"Mian sahib was shattered and tired but he met relatives," Marriyum said.

Congregational prayers (Rasm-i-Qul) for Kulsoom will be offered on Sunday between Asr and Maghreb, she added.  

 

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