Nawaz Sharif’s wife Kulsoom dies in London
BEGUM Kulsoom, the wife of Pakistan's jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, died in London on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer, her family said.
Kulsoom, who was under treatment at London's Harley Street Clinic since June 2014, was placed on life support earlier on Tuesday after her health deteriorated, Geo TV reported. The health of the 68-year-old former first lady began deteriorating on Monday night as she had developed a lung problem again, the channel said.
Sharif’s brother and Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz president Shehbaz Sharif confirmed her death. “My sister-in-law and the wife of Nawaz Sharif sahib is no more amongst us. May God bless her soul,” he tweeted.
Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and sonin-law Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar are currently serving jail terms in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi after being convicted by an accountability court in a corruption case in July.
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. Sharif, Maryam and Safdar may be granted parole to attend the funeral, it added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan condoled the death of Kulsoom. In a statement, the prime minister said all facilities will be provided to the family and heirs of Kulsoom as per law. He has directed the Pakistan High Commission in London to assist in provision of all necessary facilities to the family of the deceased.
The former first lady was diagnosed with lymphoma (throat) cancer in August last and had been in London since, where she underwent multiple surgeries and at least five chemotherapy sessions. She was placed on a ventilator in June following a cardiac arrest. Her family reported a slight improvement in her condition on July 12, a day before her husband Sharif and Maryam were set to return to Pakistan after the accountability court sentenced them to jail.
Kulsoom served as the president of the PML-N from 1999 to 2002, after her husband’s government was toppled by former dictator Pervez Musharraf in a bloodless coup. She was also placed under house arrest following Sharif’s ouster by Musharraf in 1999. She was elected to Lahore’s NA-120 constituency in a by-poll after her husband was disqualified from the seat by the Supreme Court last year. Due to her illness, she was unable to return and formally take oath for the seat.
Born in 1950 in Lahore to a Kashmiri family, Kulsoom from her maternal side, she was granddaughter of famous wrestler of the sub-continent Gama Pehlwan. She is survived by her husband and four children — Hassan, Hussain, Maryam and Asma.