ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter, Maryam, and son-in-law Captain (retd) Mohammad Safdar were released from Adiala Jail on parole hours after his ailing wife, Begum Kulsoom, passed away at a hospital in London.
Nawaz, Maryam and Capt (retd) Safdar have been released on 12-hour parole to attend Begum Kulsoom’s funeral.
The Punjab cabinet is, however, likely to extend the parole of the three. The Sharif family has requested that a five-day parole be granted to the three, who are currently serving sentences at Adiala Jail.
Nawaz, Maryam and Capt (retd) Safdar were escorted by police from Adiala Jail to the Nur Khan Airbase from where they were brought to Lahore via special flight at 2:30am on Wednesday.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif accompanied the three on the flight to Lahore.
Hours after Begum Kulsoom’s passing, Shehbaz had flown from Lahore to Rawalpindi and went straight to Adiala jail to condole to his brother, Nawaz, and niece, Maryam. He had also discussed shifting of Begum Kulsoom’s body and their release on parole for her burial.
Earlier, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had told Reuters, "We have just received a request from the family, and InshAllah (God be willing) we will be granting parole.” He adding that Nawaz and his daughter would be freed for 12 hours on the day of the funeral and burial.
Extremely painful to know I wasn’t by mother’s side: Maryam on Begum Kulsoom’s death
Begum Kulsoom, the wife of former prime minister Nawaz, passed away in London on Tuesday after battling cancer.
She was diagnosed with lymphoma last year, barely a month after Nawaz was removed from office by the Supreme Court, which ordered him to face trial in an anti-corruption court.
Nawaz was in London with his cancer-stricken wife earlier this year when the anti-graft court had handed him a 10-year jail term and sentenced his presumed political heir, Maryam, to seven years in prison over the purchase of luxury flats in London in the 1990s.
Nawaz, Maryam meet relatives and PML-N leaders
Several PML-N leaders had gathered at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal Airport to receive Nawaz, Maryam and Captain (retd) Safdar.
The three are currently at their Jati Umra residence where they are meeting PML-N leaders and family members.
Begum Kulsoom to be laid to rest on Friday
The funeral prayers of ex-premier Nawaz Sharif’s wife, Begum Kulsoom, will be offered at the Regent Park mosque on Thursday after Zuhr and her body will be flown to Lahore after completion of legal formalities.
Her body has been moved to a mortuary near the Regent Park mosque.
The Sharif family has said that the former premier’s wife will be laid to rest on Friday in Jati Umra.
Extremely painful to know I wasn’t by mother’s side: Maryam
Former first daughter Maryam Nawaz said Tuesday night she was "deeply saddened” by the fact that was unable to be by the bedside of her ailing mother, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, during her last moments before she passed away.
While speaking to Geo News before she was flown off from Rawalpindi to Lahore’s Jati Umra for her mother’s funeral, the PML-N leader said: "Today was extremely difficult after learning of my mother’s death.
"It was extremely painful to know that I wasn’t by my mother’s side” as she breathed her last, she added. "I am deeply saddened.”
Maryam, the daughter of ex-premier Nawaz, also went to voice her appeal to the Pakistani people to pray that God grants her mother the highest place in Paradise.
Begum Kulsoom was briefly a member of parliament from September 2017 to July 2018 when she won her husband’s former seat in a by-election after the Supreme Court disqualified him.
Politicians express grief over Begum Kulsom Nawaz’s passing
Up until last year’s ousting of the three-time-premier Sharif, who was removed from office in each of his elected terms, she had never been a politician, but she memorably led protests after a 1999 military coup that ended a previous Sharif administration.
With her husband jailed by the then-president 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.
She managed to get away in a car, which was chased by the police for several miles. When police finally surrounded the car, she locked herself in for several hours in a standoff until police finally towed the vehicle away.
The Musharraf regime eventually allowed Nawaz and Begum Kulsoom to leave the country, and they spent years in exile until returning in 2007 to contest new elections.