Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and his son, Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz, were released on parole for five days from Kot Lakhpat prison on Friday in order to attend the funeral of Begum Shamim Akhtar.
The two would be released at 2 pm on Friday, the Punjab Home Department had said a day before in an official notification. The parole had been approved by Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.
On Monday, PML-N had approached the provincial authorities to get party President Shehbaz and his son and Hamza released on parole to attend the funeral of Begum Shamim.
Begum Shamim will be buried at the Sharif family’s Jati Umra residence next to the grave of her husband, Mian Sharif. The funeral prayers of the deceased will be offered on Saturday at Medical City Complex.
Begum Shamim, the nonagenarian mother of former prime minister and PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shehbaz, passed away in London on Sunday morning. Following which, the Punjab government had announced to release the father-son duo, detained in Kot Lakhpat prison in various graft cases, a day before the arrival of the body.
PML-N leadership has confirmed that Nawaz, who is in London since November last year on the pretext of medical treatment, will not join the funeral, citing medical reasons.
Meanwhile, the funeral prayer of Begum Shamim was held at the Regent’s Park mosque in London on Friday.
Nawaz, other family members and former finance minister Ishaq Dar were in attendance besides other colleagues. Keeping in view the coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs), only 30 people were allowed inside the mosque for the funeral prayer.
A little while before the funeral prayer, Maryam Nawaz – the PML-N’s vice-president and daughter of Nawaz Sharif – tweeted a picture of her father standing beside his mother’s body. “A son who deserves his mother’s prayers, surrendering his mother to his Allah,” she wrote in the tweet.
Begum Shamim’s body was reportedly taken straight to the Heathrow airport after the funeral prayer to be brought to Lahore.
PML-N Deputy Secretary General Attaullah Tarar said Begum Shamim’s body would reach Lahore on Saturday at around 6:45am via a British Airway flight. The funeral prayer would be offered the same day at 2 pm.