Nawaz Sharif will not be travelling to Pakistan for mother’s funeral, PML-N says

Pakistani former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, right, leaves the Kot Lakpat jail after his release in Lahore on March 27, 2019. (AFP/File)
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Updated 22 November 2020

Nawaz Sharif will not be travelling to Pakistan for mother’s funeral, PML-N says

  • Says Nawaz medically unfit to travel and is in hospital
  • Bail applications for Shehbaz and Hamza Sharif will be presented in court so they can attend funeral prayers

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.

UNGA adopts Pakistan-sponsored resolution on respect for ‘sacred religious symbols’

Updated 1 min 17 sec ago

UNGA adopts Pakistan-sponsored resolution on respect for ‘sacred religious symbols’

  • Protests broke out in several Muslim countries, including Pakistan last month, over cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) 
  • Deliberate vilification and negative stereotyping of Islam perpetuates ‘clash of civilizations,’ Pakistan’s envoy to the UN says

ISLAMABAD: Despite opposition from the European Union and other western nations and India, the UN General Assembly Wednesday adopted a Pakistan and Philippines sponsored resolution on inter-religious dialogue that emphasized the need to respect “sacred religious symbols,” Pakistan’s state news agency reported on Thursday. 

The resolution received a majority of 90 votes, none against, with 52 abstentions, APP said.

Protests broke out in several Muslim countries, including Pakistan last month, over France’s response to a deadly attack in October on a teacher who showed cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to pupils during a civics lesson.

For Muslims, depictions of the Prophet are blasphemous.

Pakistan has condemned the recent re-printing of the cartoons. The French president has paid tribute to the murdered teacher, fueling further anger in the Muslim world. 

“Facing strong opposition from the powerful western bloc mainly based on freedom of expression, the Pakistan Mission worked hard to rally the OIC [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] and other developing countries to garner support for inclusion of new elements in the resolution,” APP reported. 

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Munir Akram, referred to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s repeated calls to the international community and the United Nations to counter Islamophobia and promote respect for religious sensitivities.

“Ambassador Akram also emphasized that the deliberate “vilification and negative stereotyping of adherents of one of the largest religions in the world –Islam — only perpetuates dangerous self-fulfilling prophecies such as the ‘clash of civilizations’ and must be addressed on urgent basis,” APP quoted the ambassador as saying. 

“After some intensive lobbying, the resolution acknowledges — for the first time — the significance and respect for religious symbols,” the state news agency added. “It also stressed that the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities, and must therefore be subjected to legitimate restrictions.”

“The resolution condemned any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to violence or discrimination,” APP said, “and underlines the importance of interrelgious and intercultural dialogue as a valuable tool for promoting social cohesion, and peace and development in the world.”