Begum Kulsoom, the wife of Pakistan's jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, died Tuesday in London after a prolonged illness, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shehbaz Sharif said.
The 68-year-old three-time former first lady was diagnosed with early-stage lymphoma in August last year and had been since then in London where she underwent multiple surgeries. Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to ten years in prison, while Maryam was imprisoned for seven years. They returned to face corruption convictions ahead of July's election, leaving the ailing Ms Nawaz in London.
Referring to her mother, Maryam Nawaz had said that she had dauntlessly challenged a usurper when "most men did not".
"She fought against cancer with a lot of courage", Farouq added.
Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar are now serving jail terms in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi after being convicted by an accountability court in a corruption case in July. She was a courageous woman of great dignity and confronted her disease with fortitude.
Up until her husband´s ousting past year, Kulsoom Sharif had never been a politician, but she memorably led protests after a 1999 military coup that ended a previous Sharif administration.
Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz, who are serving sentence in Adiala Jail, have also been informed about the demise of Begum Kulsoom.
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Over the last 30 years, she had stood by her husband and advised him on various government affairs.
A graduate in business studies, Sharif soon found himself appointed the minister of finance in the military-run cabinet of Punjab province.
Kulsoom, the wife of Sharif, died Tuesday in London after a long battle with cancer. The couple had four children - two sons and two daughters.
Begum Kulsoom served as first lady of Pakistan in her husband's three non-consecutive terms as prime minister from 1990-1993, 1997-1999 and 2013-2017.
Kulsoom Nawaz's health deteriorated rapidly after her initial diagnosis with lymphoma in June 2017.
She remained party president until 2002. She was diagnosed with lymphoma a year ago.
But some observers pointed out that Kulsoom Nawaz was no political novice.
This was reportedly the last time Nawaz Sharif had spoken to his wife. Party leaders have also said that she occasionally wrote many of Nawaz's speeches. And when he was arrested by the Musharraf regime in the 1999 coup, she spearheaded the campaign for his release.
"Her death is a huge loss and I am in shock", he stated.
Kulsoom Sharif was briefly a member of parliament after she won her husband's former seat in a by-election after the Supreme Court disqualified him.
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