Islamabad: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif learnt about his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz’s deteriorating condition on Tuesday at the Accountability Court, where he was brought from the Adiala Jail of Rawalpindi for hearing in the references case. She passed away later on the same day.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and three-time prime minister was informed about her condition by one of his aides in the Islamabad courtroom, when he was waiting for the judge.
A senior PML-N leader present in the courtroom told Gulf News that Sharif asked the man who broke the news of Kulsoom’s critical condition to call his son, Hussain Nawaz, as he might not have the facility or the chance to call family members in London from jail.
World leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have sent condolences. PPP Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Imran Khan, among others, have also sent their condolences.
The man returned and told Sharif that according to Hussain, Kulsoom was now on a ventilator and was in critical condition.
On hearing that, Sharif apparently became quiet and only said “May Allah grant her health.”
After his wife’s demise, the government extended the parole period of the former premier, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (Retd) Muhammad Safdar, to three days. Earlier, they were released on parole for a 12-hour period.
Sharif, Maryam and Safdar were flow to Jati Umra on a special plane from Nur Khan Airbase Rawalpindi in the early hours of Wednesday, after the Punjab government’s home department issued their release order. The trio arrived in Lahore at 3.15am on Wednesday.
According to a family spokesperson, Kulsoom would be laid to rest on Friday in the Sharif family’s ancestral graveyard, in Jati Umra, Raiwind.
PML-N president and Sharif’s younger brother Shahbaz left for London on Wednesday, to bring Kulsoom’s body back to Pakistan. Sharif’s two sons Hussain and Hassan would not accompany their mother’s body to Pakistan, neither will former finance minister Ishaq Dar return to the country for Kulsoom’s last rites.
For those staying back in London, funeral prayers will be held in Regent Park’s mosque, the family spokesperson said.
Jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif greets a welcome party in Lahore on September 12 after being released temporarily on parole. AFP
Maryam on Tuesday night said she was “deeply saddened” that she was unable to be at her mother’s bedside in her last moments.
“Today was extremely difficult, after learning about my mother’s death. It is extremely painful to know that I wasn’t next to my mother,” she told Geo News.
Meanwhile, many relatives, friends, party leaders and workers, other politicians and well-wishers are visiting Jati Umra to condole Kulsoom’s death, with the grieving family.
Sharif himself, according to family sources, is unwell and not receiving any guests.
The media has thronged outside the Sharif residence but none are being allowed inside.
World leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have sent condolences. Pakistan Peoples Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, among others, have also sent their condolences.