Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, wife of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, passed away in London on Tuesday after suffering from complications related to cancer.
The 68-year-old former first lady was diagnosed with lymphoma (throat) cancer in August 2017. She married Nawaz Sharif in April 1971.
Begum Kulsoom had contested and won NA-120, a traditional bastion of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) after the seat fell vacant following Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification by the Supreme Court (SC) in the Panama Papers case.
Crucial to the PML-N, she ensured the party remained functional during the most difficult of times. She contested for the NA-120 seat despite her failing health and secured 59,413 votes and defeated Yasmin Rashid of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI).
During her husband’s exile after the 1999 military coup by Pervez Musharraf, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz took over reins of the party and served as its president from 1999 to 2002.
Referring to her mother, Maryam Nawaz had said that she had dauntlessly challenged a usurper when “most men did not”. Born into a Kashmiri family in Punjab, she graduated from Forman Christian College University.
She was born into a Kashmiri family in Punjab and graduated from Forman Christian College. Nawaz and Begum Kulsoom Nawaz married in 1971 and had four children; Hassan, Hussain, Maryam and Asma.
On August 23, 2017, UK doctors confirmed that Kulsoom Nawaz was suffering from cancer and was shifted to London for medical care. Since then, Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz have been making trips back and forth to visit ailing Kulsoom Nawaz. On June 15, she was placed on a ventilator after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Both her sons Hassan and Hussain reside in the UK and cared for her while Nawaz and Maryam attended near daily hearings of the corruption trial.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed deep grief and sorrow over the sad demise of Kulsoom Nawaz.
In a statement, he said all facilities will be provided to the family and heirs of Kulsoom Nawaz as per law.
The Prime Minister has directed Pakistani High Commission in London to assist in provision of all necessary facilities to the heirs of the deceased.
PML-N leaders said her funeral will be held in Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif is likely to be allowed to attend the last rites.