ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday released ex-premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Mohammad Safdar on parole, a move which will allow them to attend the funeral of Nawaz’s wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, who died on Tuesday.
The trio, accompanied by Shehbaz Sharif, Nawaz’s younger brother and president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), left for Lahore from Rawalpindi on a special plane from the Benazir Bhutto International Airport.
Kulsoom died at the age of 68, in London, after succumbing to a long battle with cancer. Her remains will be brought back to Pakistan for burial.
“Permission is hereby granted in favor of prisoner Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif s/o Muhammad Sharif, former prime minister of Pakistan, presently confined in Central Prison, Rawalpindi, to attend the funeral prayer of his wife late Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, at Jati Umrah (Raiwind), Lahore,” a notification issued by Punjab government’s Home Department, on Wednesday, said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Shehbaz had submitted a request seeking permission for the three to be allowed to attend the funeral. According to the notification, the permission has been granted for only twelve hours which lawyers say can be extended up to five days.
Ex-premier Nawaz and daughter Maryam were lodged in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail after being handed jail sentences for 10 and seven years, in a corruption case.
Advocate Sharafat Ali, an assistant to the family’s legal team, said that the duration of the parole would be extended on the request of the family. “It is prerogative of the Home Department to extend the duration of the parole. We hope it will be extended to at least five days,” he told Arab News.
Under Pakistan’s Prison Rules, neither of the three can move outside their residence in Jati Umrah, Lahore, while a police escort will be responsible for their safety and security.
Shortly after Kulsoom’s death, Prime Minister Imran Khan assured the family that they would be extended full legal support, within the ambit of the law and constitution.
Kulsoom was undergoing treatment at London’s Harley Street Clinic, since August last year, after she was diagnosed with early-stage lymphoma.
She underwent multiple surgeries and at least five chemotherapy sessions during the time, and was finally placed on life-support from July this year.
With the family deciding to bury Kulsoom in Lahore, Senator Mushahidullah Khan, PML-N's Information Secretary, said that the body will be brought back to Pakistan on Friday.
“Shehbaz Sharif has been assigned the responsibility to bring back the remains [of Begum Kulsoom]. He will take the first available flight to London for the purpose,” Khan told Arab News.