LAHORE: The Punjab government on Wednesday decided to extend the parole of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (r) Safdar till Sunday to participate in Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s funeral, as it declared the Sharif family’s residence at Jati Umra in Lahore as a “sub-jail”.
The former first lady was under treatment in a private hospital in London after being diagnosed with cancer in August 2017.
Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar accompanied by Shehbaz Sharif were flown to Lahore from Noor Khan Airbase amid heavy security in the wee hours of Wednesday. The decision to release Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar came on an application moved by Nawaz’s younger brother.
Earlier, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry had said that the former prime minister and his daughter would be freed for 12 hours on the day of the funeral and burial, which is likely to take place in three to four days after the body is flown back home from London.
NAWAZ TO MEET VISITORS IN JATI UMRA:
Nawaz will meet visitors arriving at his Jati Umra residence to extend condolences over his wife’s death on Thursday, a spokesperson for the PML-N said.
PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the former premier will meet the people visiting his residence from 4pm to 6pm on Thursday.
The ex-PM was unable to meet visitors arriving at his residence due to ill health.
Hamza Shehbaz, Salman Shehbaz and Asif Kirmani met the visitors instead of Nawaz, they added. The PML-N leaders and family members have been arriving at the ex-premier’s Jati Umra residence since Tuesday night to extend condolences over Kulsoom’s death.
Marriyum Aurangzeb further announced that the funeral prayer of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz will be offered at 5pm on Friday (September 14) at Sharif Medical City, Jati Umra. Moreover, the Rasm-e-Qul of the former first lady will take place on Sunday (Sept 16) between Asar and Maghrib.
Security has also been tightened around Jati Umra and traffic wardens have been deployed to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.
NAWAZ REFUSED TO BE RELEASED ON PAROLE:
According to reports, the deposed prime minister had refused to submit a request to be released on parole following his wife’s death.
Nawaz had refused to sign the parole request stating that the damage had already been done and that Maryam had also supported her father’s decision. However, Shehbaz Sharif had insisted that his brother should opt for his legal right of being released on parole.
Following Nawaz’s persistent refusal to sign the parole application, Shehbaz submitted the request on his behalf.
SHEHBAZ ARRIVES IN LONDON:
Following the transfer of Nawaz and Marium to Jati Umra ‘sub-jail’, Shehbaz arrived in London to bring back Begum Kulsoom’s body.
Kulsoom’s funeral prayers will be offered at the Regent Park mosque on Thursday after Zuhr. 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.
Shehbaz is scheduled to return with Kulsoom’s body on Friday and her funeral will be held on the same day. She will be buried at the Sharif family graveyard in Jati Umra.
Shortly after the demise of Kulsoom, the former chief minister flew to Rawalpindi to meet his elder brother Nawaz in Adiala Jail. The Sharif brothers discussed funeral arrangements in detail and agreed that Hassan and Hussain would not travel to Pakistan.
‘AN IDEAL LADY’:
While talking to reporters in London on Wednesday, Hussain Nawaz said his mother was an “ideal lady” for him, and that she had set such high standards for human values in daily life that it became difficult for her children to meet them.
“We learned from her at every step till the moment she lived,” Hussain said in a video shared by the PML-N. He said he used to seek guidance from her whenever he faced a problem.
“I have a lost a great friend [in her death],” he said. Hussain refused to comment on whether he would travel to Pakistan to attend Kulsoom’s burial, requesting prayers for her instead.
Kulsoom Nawaz, 68, died after months in a coma. She was diagnosed with lymphoma last year, barely a month after Nawaz Sharif was removed from office by the Supreme Court, which ordered him to face trial. Earlier this year, Nawaz Sharif was in the UK with Kulsoom when the court handed him a 10-year jail term and sentenced his heir Maryam to seven years in prison over the purchase of luxury flats in London in the 1990s.
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