Islamabad: The Punjab government on Tuesday released former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar on parole to attend the funeral of former First Lady Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.
Soon after their release from Adiala Jail on parole, they departed for Lahore aboard a special plane from Islamabad Airport late on Tuesday.
Update: The Punjab government has increased the parole period of Sharif family members till the funeral prayers of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz are offered in Lahore.
Heavy police and other law enforcers’ deployment have been made around Jati Umra, their Raiwind residence, where they are kept confined. It was reported the decision to release them early was taken by the Punjab chief minister on compassionate grounds.
Initially, they have been paroled for 12 hours, which was later extended till the funeral prayers scheduled for Friday.
Earlier, talking to media outlet, the Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said: “We have just received a request from the family, and, God willing, we will be granting parole.” He added that the government had no objection to his being given parole, instead he assured that Nawaz’s plea will be legally processed.
In a brief talks to media at the airport, Mayam Nawaz lamented that she was not with her mother to share the last moments of her life. She asked the people to pray for the departed soul.
Kulsoom, 68, wife of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, breathed her last on Tuesday at a hospital in London after a prolonged illness. She was diagnosed with lymphoma last year, barely a month after Nawaz Sharif was removed from office by the Supreme Court.
She was under treatment at London’s Harley Street Clinic since June 2017, placed on life support last night after her health deteriorated.
The funeral prayers of Pakistan’s former first lady will be offered at the Regent’s Park mosque in central London on Thursday, while the people in Pakistan will attend her funeral on Friday. The arrangements to bring back her body will be made after a death certificate is issued and it would take two to three days, at least. Begum Kulsoom Nawaz will reportedly be laid to rest at Jati Umrah.
Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif , early on Wednesday (today), left for the United Kingdom taking the available flight to bring back the body of his sister-in-law.
The political career of the former first lady remains far from any controversy, unlike embroilment of her family members in different cases.
It is pertinent to note that deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and her spouse Safdar, were convicted by an accountability court in the Avenfield reference case on July 6. Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to ten years in prison, while Maryam was imprisoned for seven years.
The new federal cabinet also placed their names on the Exit Control List on August 21. The Lahore High Court has also denied their plea to set their convictions aside.