Thousands attend funeral of Pakistani ex-PM’s wife in Lahore

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People surround an ambulance carries a body of Kulsoom Nawaz, wife of Pakistani jailed former minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif in Lahore, Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP)
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People attend funeral of Kulsoom Nawaz, wife of Pakistani jailed former minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif in Lahore, Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP)
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Pakistani jailed former minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, center, prays during a funeral of his wife Kulsoom Nawaz with his brother Shahbaz Sharif in Lahore, Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP)
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Pakistani jailed former minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, center, arrives to attend the funeral of his wife Kulsoom Nawaz in Lahore, Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (AP)
Updated 14 September 2018
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Thousands attend funeral of Pakistani ex-PM’s wife in Lahore

  • Kulsoom Nawaz, 68, was one of the country’s most well-regarded politicians.
  • She died on Tuesday after months of lying in critical condition at a London hospital.

LAHORE: Thousands of mourners attended the funeral of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s wife in the eastern city of Lahore on Friday.
Kulsoom Nawaz, 68, was one of the country’s most well-regarded politicians. She died on Tuesday after months of lying in critical condition at a London hospital. She had undergone surgery for throat cancer last year.
Her body was brought to her home city of Lahore by plane early Friday, and she was laid to rest at her family’s graveyard.
Sharif, who was temporarily freed from prison along with his daughter and her husband, attended his wife’s funeral, as an estimated 10,000 of his supporters gathered outside his house to express their condolences.
Sharif and his two detained family members are serving prison terms for convictions on corruption charges.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court last year disqualified Sharif from holding office and later an anti-graft tribunal convicted him and his relatives. He served as prime minister three times during his political career, which began in the 1980s.
Sharif will be returned to jail along with his daughter and her husband on Monday, when a court is expected to rule on his bail application.
Sharif’s two sons, who live in Britain, missed their mother’s funeral in Lahore. They did not return home to avoid potential arrest over corruption cases. Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz attended a separate funeral for their mother in London on Thursday.


US women detained for speaking Spanish sue border agency

In this Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, photo provided by the ACLU of Montana, Martha Hernandez, left, and Ana Suda pose in front of a convenience store in Havre, Mont., where they say they were detained by a U.S Border Patrol agent for speaking Spanish last year. (AP)
Updated 19 min 49 sec ago
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US women detained for speaking Spanish sue border agency

  • The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday filed suit against US Customs and Border Protection on behalf of the women, who live in Havre

LOS ANGELES: Two US women detained by a border patrol agent in the state of Montana after he heard them speaking Spanish in a grocery store have sued the country’s border protection agency.
Video of the incident — which took place last May in the small town of Havre — showed Agent Paul O’Neal tell Ana Suda and Martha Hernandez that he had asked to see their identification as it was unusual to hear Spanish speakers in the state, which borders Canada.
“It has to do with you guys speaking Spanish in the store in a state where it’s predominately English speaking,” he said.
“It’s not illegal, it’s just very unheard of up here,” he told the women.
The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday filed suit against US Customs and Border Protection on behalf of the women, who live in Havre.
Suda and Hernandez say in the lawsuit that O’Neal detained them for 40 minutes.
California native Hernandez and Suda, who was born in Texas, said they were standing in line to buy milk and eggs when the agent — who was standing behind them — commented on Hernandez’s accent, and asked the women where they were born.
“I asked, ‘Are you serious’?” Suda said, according to the lawsuit. “Agent O’Neal responded that he was ‘dead serious’.”
The two women say they were then asked to show identification and questioned outside the store, before eventually being released.
“The incident itself is part of a broader pattern that we’ve seen of abusive tactics by border patrol which has gotten worse since the Trump administration, which has left border patrol officers feeling emboldened to take actions like this,” Cody Wofsy, an attorney with the ACLU, told AFP.
“This has been devastating for (Suda and Hernandez),” he added.
“Havre is a small town, they felt ostracized and humiliated and made to feel unwelcome in their own town and in their own country.”
He noted the United States has no official language, with Spanish by far the most common language spoken after English.
A Customs and Border Protection spokesman declined to comment on the case.
“As a matter of policy, US Customs and Border Protection does not comment on pending litigation,” he told AFP in a statement. “However, lack of comment should not be construed as agreement or stipulation with any of the allegations.”