Modi expresses grief over Kulsoom Nawaz's death

Lamar Ellis
September 12, 2018

"It is with profound grief that I learnt of the sad demise of Begum Sahiba", Modi said in a letter written to former premier and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif.

Earlier, Photo of Nawaz Sharif with ailing wife Kulsoom and 44-year-old daughter Maryam has suddenly gone viral leaving Twitterati emotional.

Pakistan's government later chose to release Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz on parole to attend the funeral. 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). He was sentenced to 10-year jail term by an anti-corruption court in Pakistan.

She won a by-election to the national assembly seat, vacated by her husband's disqualification in a Panama Papers case verdict a year ago in July, from her hospital bed in London. In a statement, he said all facilities will be provided to the family and heirs of Kulsoom as per law.

Born in 1950 in Lahore to a Kashmiri family, Kulsoom attended Islamia College and graduated from the Forman Christian College in Lahore.

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The funeral prayers of Pakistan's former first lady will be offered at the Regent's Park mosque in central London.

Kulsoom is survived by her husband and four children, Hassan, Hussain, Maryam and Asma.

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. 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. However, she was soon forced to move to London for treatment, and was unable to return and formally take oath for the seat.

Sharif was ousted from the premiership a month before his wife's diagnosis. "The family has made a decision to bury Kulsoom Nawaz in Pakistan". She led defiant, lonely protests against the Musharraf regime to get her husband freed from prison. Party leaders have also said that she occasionally wrote many of Nawaz's speeches.

Politicians from various political parties and high-level government officials also expressed deep grief over the death. "May Allah bless the departed soul eternal peace at Heaven-Amen", the director general of Inter-Services Public Relations said in a message.

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