LAHORE: The mother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif died in London on Sunday, Muslim League-Nawaz leaders in Pakistan reported here in the evening.
Begum Shamim Akhtar was already in her nineties. For a month or so, she was unwell, party sources claim, adding that she visited a London hospital twice last week for check-ups.
She took her last breath on Sunday, Punjab PML-N Deputy Secretary-General Ataullah Tarar said. He said the body of Begum Akhtar was likely to be taken back to Lahore within a few days and buried at the Sharifs’ Jati Umra estate next to the grave of her husband, Mian Sharif.
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In February, Begum Akhtar travelled to the UK against the advice of her doctors to see her ailing son, Nawaz Sharif, who was under care there for heart and kidney disease.
Mr. Tarar claimed that the authorities concerned were officially approached for the release, on parole, of Mr. Nawaz’s younger brother and PML-N chief, Shehbaz Sharif, on trial in various corruption cases, to allow him to attend their mother’s final rites.
Punjab Prison Minister Fayyaz Chohan says both Shehbaz and his son, Hamza Shehbaz, will be released on parole one day before the body arrives, still in Kot Lakhpat Jail.
Meanwhile the former Captain Safdar, the ex-son-in-law, premier’s is making burial plans at Jati Umra.
In the Kot Lakhpat Prison, Mr. Tarar visited Shehbaz and arranged a telephone conversation with his elder brother, Nawaz Sharif, to discuss the burial scheme.
Back in October 2004, both brothers were unable to attend their father’s last rites as they were in exile in Jeddah and had declined a conditional bid in this regard from then military dictator Pervez Musharraf.
A close family aide said Nawaz, deemed an absconder by a judge, decided to fly back and not miss his mother’s funeral, but his brother and daughter cautioned him against the move, telling him to stay back until his care had been completed.
In her tweet, Maryam Nawaz, who heard about her grandmother’s death while at an opposition rally in Peshawar, explained the reason behind her appeal. She said I have asked Mian Saheb not to return. She complained that she got the sad news two hours late due to the suspension of telecommunications services at and near the site for the public rally and chided the government for not taking pains to warn her of the incident. They are inhuman people blinded by vendetta from whom little decency could be expected.
کسی حکومتی شخص میں اتنی انسانیت نہیں تھی کہ مجھ تک دادی کی وفات کی اطلاع پہنچا دیتے۔ میں نے میاں صاحب کو درخواست کی ہے کہ بالکل واپس نا آئیں۔ یہ ظالم اور انتقام میں اندھےلوگ ہیں جن سے کسی بھی قسم کی انسانیت کی توقع نہیں۔
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) November 22, 2020
As his family physician had already cautioned him against air travel, a party official said Nawaz Sharif would attend his mother’s funeral in London.
The PML-N, meanwhile, has suspended all its party operations and postponed the workers’ conventions scheduled in Bahawalpur on Monday (today) and in Muzaffargarh on November 24. In order to receive those coming to attend her last rites, the leadership will stay at the party secretariat in Lahore’s Model City.
When almost all the Sharifs are either in jails or wanted in separate corruption cases here, it is yet to be decided who will follow the body to Pakistan.
The former minister, Ishaq Dar, whose son is married to Nawaz’s daughter, told reporters in London that Begum Shamim had been unwell for quite a few days. Her health took a turn for the worse the day before. One of her lungs collapsed and stopped working,’ he added, adding that at the family residence in Avenfield she breathed her last.