Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, wife of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, passed away in London on Tuesday after suffering from complications related to cancer.
Begum Kulsoom contested and won NA-120, a traditional bastion of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) after the seat fell vacant following Nawaz’s disqualification by the Supreme Court (SC) in the Panama Papers case.
Crucial to the PML-N, Begum Kulsoom ensured the party remained functional during the most difficult of times. She contested for the NA-120 seat despite her failing health and secured 59,413 votes and defeated Yasmin Rashid of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
During her husband’s exile after the 1999 military coup, Begum Kulsoom took over reins of the party and served as its president from 1999 to 2002. Referring to her mother, Maryam Nawaz had said that she had dauntlessly challenged a usurper when “most men did not”.
Born into a Kashmiri family in Punjab, she graduated from Forman Christian College University.
She was born into a Kashmiri family in Punjab and graduated from Forman Christian College. Nawaz and Begum Kulsoom married in 1971 and had four children; Hassan, Hussain, Maryam and Asma.
On August 23, 2017, UK doctors confirmed that Kulsoom was suffering from cancer and was shifted to London for medical care. Since then, Nawaz and Maryam have been making trips back and forth to visit ailing Kulsoom. On June 15, she was placed on a ventilator after suffering a cardiac arrest.
All political leaders – opponents and otherwise – sent in their best wishes for Kulsoom during the length of her illness. Both sons Hassan and Hussain reside in the UK and cared for her while Nawaz and Maryam attended near daily hearings of the corruption trial.