Kulsoom Nawaz’s funeral prayers held in London

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The funeral prayers of three-time first lady Kulsoom Nawaz were offered at London Central Mosque near Regent Park on Thursday.

The London rites commenced at 12pm British Standard Time. The body of the deceased will be brought back to Pakistan on a PIA flight after the procession. Kulsoom’s daughter Asma, brother-in-law Shehbaz Sharif and multiple Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders will accompany the body to Lahore where it will be laid to rest.

The procession was attended by sons Hassan and Hussain, who are unable to attend the final rites in Pakistan after being declared absconders in the corruption investigation lodged against members of the Sharif family. Former federal ministers Chaudhry Nisar and Ishaq Dar also attended the funeral prayers.

Former premier Nawaz Sharif, daughter Maryam and son-in-laaw Capt (retd) Safdar were released from Rawalpindi Central Jail on Tuesday on a five-day parole following Kulsoom’s demise.

Preparations for the former first lady’s final rites have been completed in Lahore. Noted religious scholar Maulana Tariq Jameel will lead funeral prayers on Friday at the city’s Sharif Medical.

Punjab police have been tasked with securing the venue. Unauthorised personnel will not be permitted to enter the medical facility.

Kulsoom breathed her last at Hartley Clinic in London on Tuesday after a protracted battle with cancer. She passed at the age of 68. She was first admitted to the hospital on August 17, 2017 and was diagnosed with cancer few days after.

Her condition reportedly improved following successive surgeries and chemotherapy sessions before rapidly deteriorating in the summer. She was placed on a ventilator and remained critical for weeks.

PML-N president Shehbaz was the first to confirm news of her passing. “My sister-in-law and Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz is no more. May Allah forgive her,” he said in a statement.