Nawaz gets parole for wife's funeral, but 'absconder' sons may miss out

Kulsoom Nawaz Sharif Kulsoom Nawaz Sharif | AP

Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and her husband Mohammad Safdar were granted parole hours after the death of the leader's wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz on Tuesday. The trio were serving a jail sentence in Adiala jail in Rawalpindi since July in connection with a corruption case.

Kulsoom died in London after a battle with cancer. Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar were granted 12-hour parole to go to Lahore in connection with the funeral of Kulsoom. They were taken to the Sharifs' Jati Umra residence in Lahore by a special aircraft in the wee hours of Wednesday. Nawaz's PML(N) had applied for five-days parole as Kulsoom's body is yet to be brought back from London for the funeral, which is planned to be held on Friday.

A PML(N) spokesperson said the party was “hopeful” that the Punjab provincial government would extend the parole of Nawaz and the others till Friday.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, for long a bitter critic of Nawaz, seemingly left aside political rivalries and ordered facilitation of parole procedures for the trio. Khan also condoled the death of Kulsoom, tweeting, “she was a courageous woman of great dignity and confronted her disease with fortitude.”

The PML(N) said no decision has been taken on whether the two sons of Nawaz and Kulsoom—Hasan and Hussain—may return to Lahore as they have been declared absconders by a court in an offshore properties case.

Kulsoom was a prominent figure on Pakistan's political scene when Nawaz was prime minister in 1990-1993, 1997-1999 and 2013-2017. She also briefly led the PML(N) from 1999 to 2002 when Nawaz had been imprisoned by then dictator Pervez Musharraf. She won the bypoll to the National Assembly seat held by Nawaz in Lahore after he was forced to step down last year, but was unable to take oath on account of her illness.

(With PTI inputs)