Kulsoom Nawaz’s funeral offered in London, body to be flown to Pakistan for burial

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–Nawaz Sharif oversees funeral arrangements at Jati Umra, undergoes medical checkup at Sharif Medical City

–PPP leaders Asif Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto and PTI delegation expected to attend funeral prayers at Jati Umra, condole with Nawaz

 

LONDON/LAHORE: A large number of people, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, ex-finance minister Ishaq Dar and other members of the Sharif family attended the funeral of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz — the wife of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif — at London’s Regent Park mosque on Thursday after which the body was boarded on a PIA flight for burial in Lahore on Friday.

The funeral in London, which is separate from another set to take place in Lahore on Friday, was arranged since the deceased PML-N leader’s sons Hasan and Hussain cannot travel to Pakistan. Their sister Asma also attended the funeral in London. Hassan and Hussain were declared absconders by an accountability court hearing corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in lieu of Supreme Court’s verdict in the Panama Papers case.

Former federal minister for interior and disgruntled PML-N leader, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also attended Kulsoom’s funeral prayers.

Shehbaz had travelled to London, where he arrived on Wednesday evening, to take Begum Kulsoom’s body back to Lahore for burial.

Sources in the family confirmed that Begum Kulsoom’s casket was being flown to Lahore on PIA flight (PK-758), which departed from Heathrow Airport on Thursday evening.

The sources said the family had received a death certificate issued by the private hospital where Begum Kulsoom Nawaz breathed her last on Tuesday, and the “out-of-England” letter from the coroner’s court, paving the way for the departure of her body to Lahore.

NAWAZ OVERSEES FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS, MEETS VISITORS:

Earlier in the day, Nawaz, who was released from Adiala Jail on parole in order to attend the funeral of his wife in Lahore, paid a visit to Sharif Medical City in Jati Umra to oversee arrangements for his deceased wife’s last rites, scheduled to be held at 5pm.

Begum Kulsoom, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in August last year, passed away in London on Sept 11.

She will be laid to rest near the graves of her father-in-law Mian Sharif and brother-in-law Abbas Sharif at Jati Umra.

Congregational prayers (Rasm-i-Qul) for Begum Kulsoom will be offered on Sunday between Asr and Maghreb.

Nawaz Sharif, during his visit to Sharif Medical City, directed that all arrangements for the funeral be complete so that everyone is able to comfortably offer the funeral prayers.

He was accompanied on the visit by his son-in-law Captain (r) Muhammad Safdar, grandson Junaid Safdar, and nephew Salman Shehbaz.

Nawaz also underwent a medical check-up at Sharif Medical City after his health reportedly deteriorated after the demise of his wife Kulsoom Nawaz.

Nawaz reportedly excused himself from meeting visitors who arrived at his residence in Raiwand to offer condolences and spent time in his room with close family members and friends.

Speaking to media, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Javed Mirza said Nawaz was dejected over losing his partner of 47 years.

CONDOLENCES POUR IN:

PML-N leaders, workers and people belonging to other walks of life have been visiting the Sharif family residence at Avenfield House in London and Jati Umra in Lahore since Wednesday night.

According to reports, Pakistan People’s Party leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and a delegation of senior leaders of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by Punjab Governor Muhammad Sarwar will attend Kulsoom’s last rites alongside politicians belonging to other parties.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan telephoned Nawaz Sharif on Thursday to offer his condolences over Begum Kulsoom’s demise.

Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and Safdar were all released from Adiala Jail on 12-hour parole in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Their parole was later extended by the Punjab government for five days on an application moved by Shehbaz Sharif.

The Sharifs had been sentenced to jail by an accountability court weeks before the July 25 polls in the Avenfield property reference.

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