Nawaz Sharif’s wife Kul­soom dies in London

Financial Chronicle - - FUNDAMENTALS, POLITICS -

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.

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