Kulsoom Nawaz, 68, dies in London

Clay Curtis
September 11, 2018

Begum Kulsoom, wife of jailed former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, died on Tuesday in London after a prolonged illness, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shehbaz Sharif said.

"Sad to learn of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's death", his account tweeted on Tuesday evening. She married Nawaz Sharif in April 1971.

Nawaz, 68, who was first lady of Pakistan three times, was diagnosed with lymphoma in August previous year and had been receiving treatment at a private hospital in London for months.

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

After the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif from his seat past year, Kulsoom was elected to Lahore's NA-120 constituency in a bye-poll. She used to always step forward in times of need, when for example, news of someone surfaced who was in a critical medical condition and did not have the means to seek treatment. Maryam Nawaz would credit [her political standing to] her mother ─ her father was not in favour of her entering politics.

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

Kulsoom Nawaz spent these years in the background, as the daughter-in-law of a super-rich industrial family with vast political influence.

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For her undergraduate studies, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz attended the Forman Christian College and then pursued a Masters degree at the Punjab University. The couple have four children. She was suffering from cancer.

Sharif, three-time prime minister, is now serving a 10-year jail term in Pakistan following his conviction by a court on corruption charges.

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

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

She took up public office despite her failing health.

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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