Nawaz Sharif’s wife Kulsoom laid to rest

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Lahore, Sep 14 (IANS) Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s wife Kulsoom Nawaz was laid to rest here on Friday in the presence of thousands of PML-N supporters, senior political figures and family members.

The funeral prayers, led by Maulana Tariq Jameel, were offered at Sharif Medical City in Raiwind. Begum Kulsoom was laid to rest in Jati Umra next to the resting place of her father-in-law Mian Sharif and brother-in-law Abbas Sharif, Dawn newspaper reported.

Her sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, currently in London, were unable to attend the ceremony in Pakistan after being declared absconders in the accountability trial following the Panamagate verdict.

Kulsoom Nawaz passed away on Tuesday after an over-a-year-long battle with throat cancer.

Security at the ground was high and barbed wire was used to separate the high-profile attendees from ordinary citizens at the funeral ceremony. Despite the measures, television footage showed politicians being jostled by the crowd as they were led to their places, Geo News reported.

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A protective human chain was formed around Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shehbaz Sharif and Maulana Tariq Jameel.

Former President Mamnoon Hussain, former Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Javed Hashmi, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Muttahida Qaumi Movement leaders Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Farooq Sattar, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Saudi officials were among the attendees.

On the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar attended the funeral prayers representing the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

Congregational prayers for Begum Kulsoom will be offered on Sunday, said a Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) spokesperson.

Funeral prayers had previously been offered for Begum Kulsoom at London’s Regent Park mosque on Thursday, where hundreds of people had shown up to pay their respects. It had been arranged since Kulsoom’s sons decided against travelling to Pakistan.

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Other members of the Sharif family, including daughter Asma, Shehbaz Sharif were in attendance at the funeral in London, alongside former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and former Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar.

A flight carrying Kulsoom Nawaz’s casket landed in Lahore from London on Friday morning.

The three-time Premier, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Mohammad Safdar, currently serving prison terms on corruption charges, were granted parole by the Punjab government to attend Begum Kulsoom’s funeral.

The government on Thursday night extended their parole till September 17.

–IANS

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