Shehbaz Sharif terms demise of Kulsoom 'big loss' for family

Shehbaz Sharif terms demise of Kulsoom 'big loss' for family

The cancer-stricken wife of Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has died in London while her husband and daughter were in jail, officials say.

Kulsoom Nawaz's health deteriorated rapidly after her initial diagnosis with lymphoma in June 2017.

Kulsoom's political struggle against Gen (r) Musharraf's dictatorship was also acknowledged by now Prime Minister Imran Khan during a jalsa held past year (30th April) in Karachi.

In a statement, Prime Minister Imran Khan, a bitter rival to the Sharifs whose PTI handily beat the outgoing PML-N at a general election in July, said Nawaz Sharif and his daughter would be "provided all facilities that they are entitled to under law". She then moved to London for medical care.

The former first lady "dauntlessly challenged the usurper when a lot of men backed out", daughter Maryam once remarked.

"She was a very loving lady and my association with her was that of a fellow party member as well as a leader".

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Sharif was ousted from the premiership a month before his wife's diagnosis.

Up until her husband's ouster a year ago, Kulsoom Sharif had never been a politician, but she memorably led protests after the 1999 military coup that ended a previous Sharif administration. The couple have four children.

But life as a politician in her own right was not to be for Ms Nawaz.

"She fought against cancer with a lot of courage", Farouq added. Both are now serving jail sentence with Maryam's husband Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdarin Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi after being convicted by an accountability court in a corruption case in July. "It was Begum Kulsoom who broke the family's long-held tradition of not allowing women to foray into politics". She contested the election from the seat vacated by her husband after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding public office in the Panama Papers's scandal in July 2017.

Crucial to the PML-N, she ensured the party remained functional during the most hard of times.

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