Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif passed away here on Tuesday after battling cancer.
Her brother-in-law Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif, and her son, Hussain Nawaz, confirmed that the former first lady breathed her last at a clinic in London.
Begum Kulsoom is survived by her husband and four children; Maryam, Asma, Hassan, and Hussain.
Begum Kulsoom was under treatment at London’s Harley Street Clinic since June 2017. She was placed on life support last night as her health deteriorated.
Sources at the clinic said she had developed a complication in her lungs. “She had been responding well without the ventilator until last night,” the sources said.
Begum Kulsoom was diagnosed with lymphoma (throat) cancer in August 2017.
Further, sources at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi said former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, and son-in-law, Captain (retd) Safdar, had been informed about Begum Kulsoom's passing.
Her husband, daughter and son-in-law are currently serving a jail sentence in the Avenfield corruption case.
Kulsoom Nawaz was born in 1950 and was the granddaughter of world-renowned weight-lifter Ghulam Muhammad, known locally as ‘Gaama Pahelwan.’
Begum Kulsoom received her early education from Lahore’s Madrasa-Tul-Banat and later enrolled at the Lady Griffin High School. For her undergraduate studies, she attended the Former Christian College in Lahore, and then completed a masters at the Punjab University. She was still studying when she married Nawaz Sharif, the son of a businessman, in 1971.
She became Pakistan's first lady thrice; first from 1990 to 1993, then from 1997 to 1999, and again from 2013 to 2017.
In September 2017, she won the by-election from NA-120 Lahore. Begum Nawaz was under treatment at this time and her campaign was run by her daughter Maryam Nawaz.
Begum Kulsoom to be laid to rest in Pakistan
The Sharif family has confirmed that Begum Kulsoom's body will be brought back to Pakistan and she will be laid to rest at Jati Umra in Lahore.
The Harley Street Clinic has issued a certificate of death or free from infection (FFI) certificate since Begum Kulsoom's body will be flown out of the United Kingdom.
After receiving the certificates, her family will register the death in a registrar office in the local Westminster council. The coroner will then issue an out-of-England order after which the body will be taken to Pakistan, sources said.
Her family will instruct a funeral director today and then the body will be taken to a local mortuary and will be kept there until the coroner issues the certificate, the sources further said. The funeral director will be responsible for keeping the body.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he was deeply saddened about her passing. The foreign minister tweeted the Pakistani High Commission in London had been instructed to facilitate the bereaved family in all possible ways.