LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif will not be travelling to Pakistan from London to attend the funeral of his mother, Begum Shamim Akhtar, his party’s Information Secretary told Arab News on Sunday.
The deceased nonagenarian, known widely as ‘Shamim Bibi,’ travelled to London to live with her eldest son, Sharif, in February this year. She had been advised by doctors not to travel due to her age.
Sharif, 70, a three-time former prime minister of Pakistan, was handed a seven-year prison sentence after a conviction for corruption in 2018. He was granted bail on medical grounds to seek treatment abroad last year.
“Mian Nawaz Sharif will not come to Pakistan because he is suffering from kidney problem and is in hospital,” Azma Zahid Bukhari told Arab News.
“Doctors say he is not fit to travel,” she added.
“Her namaz-e-janaza [funeral prayers] will be offered in London and Mian Nawaz Sharif and other party members will attend. The body will then be sent to Lahore and namaz-e-janaza will be offered at Jati Umra,” Bukhari continued.
“She will be buried at Jati Umra graveyard where other family members are buried.”
Bukhari also said PML-N would be contacting the court for the release of Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Sharif on bail so they are able to attend Shamim Bibi's funeral prayers in Lahore.
Since October, Shehbaz who is leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, has been in jail on judicial remand.
Earlier, upon receiving news of the death, a tearful Maryam Nawaz left the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) rally in Peshawar after asking the huge crowds gathered there to pray for her grandmother’s soul.
Condolences poured in from the country’s political and military top brass.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted, “My condolences and prayers go to the Sharif family on the passing of Mian Nawaz and Mian Shahbaz Sharif’s mother.”
Earlier, Pakistan’s army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa, who Nawaz Sharif has accused in public rallies via video link of being his ouster, sent his condolences via the official Twitter page of the military spokesperson.
“COAS expresses grief and heartfelt condolences on sad demise of Begum Shamim Akhtar mother of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif/ Mian Shehbaz Sharif “May Allah Almighty bless the departed soul in eternal peace - Ameen,” the director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations wing of the military tweeted late Sunday afternoon.