Wife of jailed ex-PM Nawaz Sharif dies in London

Leroy Wright
September 12, 2018

Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of Pakistan's ousted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has died in London. "May the departed soul rest in peace", Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and the deceased's brother-in-law, Shehbaz Sharif, confirmed in a tweet.

The couple has four children: Maryam, Asma, Hassan and Hussain out of which only Maryam is involved in mainstream Pakistani politics. According to reports, her health deteriorated on Monday night and she was placed on life support.

"My sister-in-law and Nawaz Sharif's wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz is no longer with us", he said.

The former first lady also won the NA-120 bye-polls in September past year after defeating PTI's Yasmin Rashid though she was not able to practically take part in the election campaign for the seat vacated by her husband.

Nawaz took over leadership of the party, defying house arrest to attend street rallies standing up to military dictator General Pervez Musharraf and demanding her husband's release.

Conspiracy theories claiming that Nawaz was actually healthy, and that the Sharifs were faking her illness to gain sympathy, swirled in the final weeks of the acrimonious campaign. Born into a Kashmiri family in Punjab, she graduated from Forman Christian College University.

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Kulsoom Nawaz married Nawaz Sharif in 1971 and her husband was prime minister of Pakistan on three occasions - 1990-1993, 1997-1999 and 2013-2017. As a result, the family welcomed the military coup of 1977 which toppled Mr Bhutto's government and sent him to the gallows two years later following a controversial trial.

President Dr Arif Alvi has expressed grief over the passing away of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.

Talking to a private news channel, Ahsan said he tenders an apology to the Sharif family. In a statement, he said all facilities will be provided to the family and heirs of Kulsoom as per law.

Leaders of political parties and Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, the chief of army staff, extended their condolences to the bereaved family.

"Sad to learn of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's death".

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