Islamabad: The Punjab government home department issued the release of former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif from Adiala Jail Rawalpindi after Sharif’s wife Kulsoom Nawaz died on Tuesday in London. Sharif along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (Retd) Muhammad Safdar reached Lahore in the early morning on Wednesday. Sharif is on a 12-hour parole to attend the funeral of his wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.
Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law were transported to Jati Umra in a special plane from Nur Khan Airbase Rawalpindi early morning today. The three of them arrived at Lahore at 3.15 AM.
As per reports, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Maryam Aurangzeb said that Shahbaz Sharif had filed an application with the Punjab government and requested the release of his elder brother Nawaz Sharif, niece Maryam and Safdar and also grant them a five-day parole so that they could attend the last rites of Kulsoom Nawaz. However, the Punjab government only granted them a 12-hour parole.
Meanwhile, the government said, “The government has allowed Sharif to attend the funeral prayer of his wife purely on humanitarian grounds. Since Kulsoom’ body is scheduled to arrive here on Friday there is no point in extending the parole period.”
The official notification by the Punjab government’s home department read, “In pursuance of rule 545-B of Pakistan Prison Rules 1978, permission granted to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar, confined at central prison Rawalpindi, to attend the funeral prayer of Kulsoom Nawaz. The duration of permission granted shall not exceed 12w hours. Police will be responsible for their security and safety. They will not leave the place (Jati Umra) specified in the permission order.”
Kulsoom, Sharif’s wife, aged 68 years, died Tuesday in London after battling with cancer. Her body will be brought to Lahore and buried in Jati Umra Lahore residence of the Sharif family. Heavy security has been put up outside the Jati Umra Lahore residence.
Kulsoom Nawaz served as the first lady of Pakistan for three non-consecutive terms and was also the president of the PML-N from 1999 to 2002. Born in 1950 in Lahore to a Kashmiri family, Kulsoom was the granddaughter of famous wrestler of the sub-continent Gama Pehlwan. She graduated from the Forman Christian College in Lahore and received a Master’s degree in Urdu from Punjab University in 1970. Kulsoom married Nawaz Sharif in April 1971 and they have four children – Hassan, Hussain, Maryam and Asma.