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    Wednesday, 12 September 2018

    Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz released on parole to attend funeral of Kulsoom Nawaz

    Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired captain Mohammad Safdar were released from Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail on parole hours after his ailing wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz passed away in a London hospital on Tuesday.

    All three were released on a 12-hour parole, which is likely to be extended till the burial of Begum Kulsoom at Jati Umra on Friday afternoon, on an order of the Punjab home department. The trio was escorted by police to the Nur Khan airbase from where they were flown to Lahore, South Punjab News

    • Funeral prayers in London tomorrow
    • Body to be brought to Lahore on Friday for burial at Jati Umra

    The application was filed by PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif for their release for at least five days. Three rooms inside Jati Umra have been declared a sub-jail,South Punjab News reported.Diagnosed with throat cancer in August last year, Begum Kulsoom was still undergoing treatment when she suffered cardiac arrest on June 15 and was rushed to a private hospital in London where she remained admitted since then. Accor­ding to her family sources, her health deteriorated on Sunday night and she was placed on life support but she couldn’t be revived and breathed her last on Tuesday.
    Shahbaz Sharif, PML-N president and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, on Wednesday morning departed for London on a Qatar Airways flight to attend her funeral prayers at the Regent's Park mosque on Thursday before bringing her body to Lahore.
    Family sources told Dawn that Kulsoom's sons would not accompany her body to Lahore though her daughter, Asma, and grandson, Zikriya Sharif, would go with the casket to Pakistan.
    Party sources in Lahore confirmed to the media that Begum Kulsoom would be laid to rest at the Jati Umra residence of the Sharif family. “A PIA flight carrying the body will arrive here on Friday morning and she is likely to be laid to rest the same day beside the grave of her father-in-law Mian Sharif at Jati Umra,” they said.

    Condolences at Jati Umra

    A large number of relatives, party leaders, workers, politicians and well-wishers have been visiting Jati Umra today to condole Kulsoom's death with the grieving family.
    Media representatives are present in large numbers outside the house, however journalists are not being allowed inside.
    PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz while talking to media in Lahore said Kulsoom was a "courageous lady". "Kulsoom Nawaz raised the flag of democracy during the rule of a dictator," he added.
    The Punjab government on Tuesday released former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar on parole to attend the funeral of former First Lady Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.
    Soon after their release from Adiala Jail on parole, they departed for Lahore aboard a special plane from Islamabad Airport late on Tuesday. The Punjab government has increased  the parole period of Sharif family members till the funeral prayers of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz are offered in Lahore.
    Heavy police and other law enforcers' deployment have been made around Jati Umra, their Raiwind residence, where  they are kept confined. It was reported the decision to release them early was taken by the Punjab chief minister on compassionate grounds.
    REGRET:  A regret which may continue to haunt Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam for the rest of their lives is not seeing Begum Kulsoom Nawaz when she temporarily regained consciousness last month after being on a life-support machine for about two months in a London hospital.
    “My father and I have great regret that when my mother regained consciousness last month we were not there with her. To add insult to injury, my father was allowed to speak to her (on telephone) once a week for a limited time due to the jail restrictions. Once she asked why I didn’t visit her or speak to her (via Skype) so that she could see my face,” former information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said quoting Maryam Nawaz.
    “What would my mother have been thinking... have they (Nawaz and Maryam) got so busy (in politics) that they don’t have time for her. Perhaps this regret may continue to haunt me for the rest of my life,” Ms Aurangzeb quoted an anguished Ms Nawaz as saying, while talking to Dawn on Tuesday.
    Begum Kulsoom Nawaz died of complications of throat cancer in London on Tuesday. Her body will be brought back to Pakistan and she will be buried at Jati Umra, Lahore, later this week.
    She was placed on a life-support machine in mid June last at the Harley Street Clinic after her condition deteriorated.
    She was still on ventilator when both her husband and daughter returned to Pakistan on July 13 to serve their respective jail terms in the Avenfield properties case.
    Begum Kulsoom’s condition improved a bit in the first week of last month.
    “Begum Kulsoom complained as to why Maryam would not come to see her... she wanted to see her face,” Ms Aurangzeb said, adding that Ms Maryam had a remorse what her mother would have been thinking of her and why she was not sparing time to see her.
    The former First Lady was not told about the imprisonment of her husband and daughter.
    “It was so cruel and whom should they (the Sharifs) blame for this?” Ms Aurengzeb said.
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