Kulsoom Nawaz dies in Harley Street clinic after battling cancer

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LONDON: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Mian Nawaz Sharif’s wife and former MNA Begum Kulsoom Nawaz passed away in London after a months-long battle with cancer.
The lady, who remained an active political worker till 2017, was battling throat cancer in London’s Harley Street Clinic since June.
The news was confirmed by PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif. “My sister-in-law and wife of Mian Nawaz Sharif, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz is no more. May her soul rest in peace,” Shahbaz Sharif said in a twitter announcement.
“Nawaz Sharif had always consulted Kulsoom Nawaz during his tough hours. She [Kulsoom Nawaz] challenged dictatorship courageously,” stated Shahbaz while adding at the same time late Kulsoom’s affiliation with democracy was proven and time-tested.
Shahbaz 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.
Kulsoom Nawaz was married to Nawaz Sharif, the three time Prime Minister of Pakistan, in April 1971. She is survived by her husband and four children, Hassan, Hussain, Maryam and Asma.
During her political career she led protests against former military dictator Pervez Musharraf during her husband’s exile and also won the NA-120 by-elections against PTI’s Yasmeen Rashid after her husband was declared disqualified by Supreme Court to hold public office.
Born into a Kashmiri family in Lahore, Kulsoom Nawaz attended Islamia College and graduated from the Forman Christian College in Lahore. She received a master’s degree in Urdu from the University of the Punjab in 1970.
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) on Tuesday suspended all political activities for three days after death of Kulsoom Nawaz in London.
PML-N leader Kh Nazir termed former first lady a brave woman and stated she played vital role in reshaping the political landscape of the country.
Nazir added dead body of Kulsoom Nawaz will be shifted to Pakistan in two to three days. Nazir urged to grant Nawaz Sharif at least one-week parole.
The body of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, who passed away at London’s Harley Street Clinic after a prolonged battle with cancer, will be brought back to Pakistan on Friday.
Sources privy to the Sharif family said that her dead body will be brought back to Pakistan on Friday for burial.
Shahbaz Sharif will leave for London today to get the dead body.
Begum Kulsoom Nawaz will be buried alongside Mian Sharif, her father-in-law, at Jati Umra.
On the other hand, Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (Retd) Safdar are expected to be released on parole to participate in the funeral prayers of the former first lady.
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.
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.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa condoled the demise with the Sharif family, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
Meanwhile the Pakistani leadership including Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Dr Arif Alvi, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other political figures have expressed their condolences on Kulsoom Nawaz’ demise in London.
Politicians from various political parties have expressed deep grief and sorrow over the death of Kalsoom Nawaz.
Those, who extended condolences, include PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, former President Asif Ali Zardari, PML-N Chief Shahbaz Sharif and other leaders of the party, Qaumi Awami Tehreek Chief Ayaz Lateef Palijo, ANP Chief Asfandyar Wali, MQM Leader Amir Khan,
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaisar and Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri have expressed grief and sorrow over the death of Begum Kalsoom Nawaz. In their separate statements, they commiserated with the bereaved family. They also paid rich tribute to Kalsoom Nawaz’s social and political services, she rendered during his life.
Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Khan Sanjrani and Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala have also condoled the death of Begum Kalsoom Nawaz.
They prayed eternal peace for the departed soul and commiserated with the bereaved family.
As the tragic news of the demise of former first lady Begum Kulsoom Nawaz hit the media, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Aitzaz Ahsan was prompt to apologize for his bitter comments ridiculing the health condition of Nawaz Sharif’s wife.
Aitzaz Ahsan said on Tuesday that he was not only saddened by the fact that the former first lady Kulsoom Nawaz had passed away, but also apologetic that his statements had hurt her and the Sharif family’s sentiments.
“I unconditionally apologize for my statement,” he said. “I will attend Kulsoom Bibi’s funeral.”
“Kulsoom Nawaz was a kindhearted and pious lady,” he said, adding that he had condoled with the Sharif family. “This is a big loss for the Sharif Family,” Aitzaz Ahsan added.
He admired how Kulsoom Nawaz protested after then military ruler Pervez Musharraf toppled her husband’s government and put him in jail. – NNI