LAHORE: Amid chants of “mother of democracy”, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, was laid to rest on Friday as thousands of PML-N supporters and top politicians attended her funeral prayers.
Kulsoom, who died Tuesday in a London hospital after a year-long battle with throat cancer, was laid to rest at the Sharif family’s Jati Umra residence here next to the graves of her father-in-law Mian Sharif and brother-in-law Abbas Sharif.
Her funeral prayers, led by renowned cleric Tariq Jameel, were offered at a ground at Lahore’s Sharif Medical City, after which her body was transported to Jati Umra amid high security.
Nawaz Sharif and other Sharif family members excluding 68-year-old Kulsoom’s two sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz attended the prayers.
Hassan and Hussain have been declared absconders by an accountability court in corruption cases linked to Panama Papers scandal.
A protective human chain was formed around Sharif so that the funeral prayers could be offered.
A massive crowd of thousands of people, top politicians, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and workers attended the funeral prayers.
The leadership of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf including Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser attended the funeral prayers.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders Khursheed Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira also attended the funeral prayers.
The PMLN workers were chanting “mother of democracy” when her casket was brought for the funeral prayers.
They raised slogans to appreciate her.
Kulsoom was called “mother of democracy” by PML-N workers as she stood up for Sharif when not many were there to confront Pervez Musharraf’s regime.
“She faced isolation, imprisonment and threats but didn’t waver in her resolved and continued to campaign for her husband,” a party worker said.
Her body was brought here from London on a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight this morning.
Shehbaz Sharif, the deceased’s brother-in-law and president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), along with Kulsoom’s daughter Asma, grandson Zayd Hussain Sharif (Hussain Nawaz’s son), and 11 other family members had accompanied the body from London to Lahore.
Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (retd) M Safdar, currently serving jail terms in the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi after being convicted by an accountability court in a corruption case in July, have been released on parole for Kulsoom’s funeral.
The Punjab home department has issued a notification announcing an extension in the parole already awarded to Sharif for additional five days – September 12 (4 pm) to September 17 (4 pm).
On Thursday, hundreds of people attended the funeral prayers of Kulsoom at London’s Regent Park mosque.
They chanted slogans of ‘we salute to the mother of democracy’.
The funeral prayers were attended by her sons Hassan and Hussain, brother-in-law Shehbaz Sharif, former ministers Chaudhry Nisar and Ishaq Dar among others.