Wife of Pakistan's jailed ex-PM Nawaz Sharif dies in London


Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, wife of former and now jailed Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, passed away in a hospital here on Tuesday after months of battle with cancer, the family said.

According to sources, the Sharif family has chose to bring back Kulsoom's body to Pakistan, it said.

Nawaz had been at her husband's side throughout his decades-long political career, which saw him become prime minister of Pakistan three times while facing military coups, prison and exile.

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

Kulsoom was being treated at the Harley Street Clinic in London, reported Geo News.

Kulsoom Nawaz Sharif, 68, died after months in a coma.

The three-time former first lady was diagnosed with early-stage lymphoma in August previous year and had been in London since, where she underwent multiple surgeries and at least five chemotherapy sessions.

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Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: "Everyone has a right to protest but what is happening today?" The bandh was called by 21 opposition parties that included the Congress , its allies and the Left.

With her husband jailed by General Pervez Musharraf, she broke through a police barricade that had been set up around her home in Lahore in July 2000 in an attempt to prevent her from leading a public rally.

Both sons Hassan and Hussain reside in the United Kingdom and cared for her while Nawaz and Maryam attended near daily hearings of their corruption trial. Due to her illness, Kulsoom was unable to return and formally take oath as a member of the National Assembly.

For her undergraduate studies, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz attended the Forman Christian College and then pursued a Masters degree at the Punjab University.

Those, who extended condolences, include Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, former president Asif Ali Zardari, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and other leaders of the party, Qaumi Awami Tehreek Chief Ayaz Lateef Palijo, Awami National Party Chief Asfandyar Wali, Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Amir Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaisar, Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri, Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Khan Sanjrani and Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwala. "She's contributed famously to my father's life and to democracy in Pakistan".

Khan remarked that the government will provide all facilities to the family according to the 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.

"Sad to learn of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's death".