Three Times First Lady of Pakistan: Kulsoom Nawaz

Saul Bowman
September 12, 2018

She was diagnosed with lymphoma past year, barely a month after Nawaz Sharif was removed from office by the Pakistan Supreme Court after being ordered to face trial in an anti-corruption court.

According to interior ministry officials, Nawaz, Maryam and her husband will be granted parole for Kulsoom's funeral prayers till her burial, after a request is made by the family. PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif will be proceeding to London to bring Kulsoom's body to Pakistan.

Although her public role - particularly with regards to Pakistan's often bitter domestic politics - was limited, she was known to exercise a certain degree of quiet power within the PML-N party. He was sentenced to 10-year jail term by an anti-corruption court in Pakistan.

She would not take to politics again until previous year, after her husband - now prime minister again - was disqualified by the Supreme Court from holding a public office.

In a statement, Prime Minister Imran Khan, a bitter rival to the Sharifs whose PTI handily beat the outgoing PML-N at a general election in July, said Nawaz Sharif and his daughter would be "provided all facilities that they are entitled to under law".

Born into a Kashmiri family in Punjab, she graduated from Forman Christian College University.


Begum Kulsoom served as first lady of Pakistan in her husband's three non-consecutive terms as prime minister from 1990-1993, 1997-1999 and 2013-2017.

Kulsoom is survived by her husband and four children, Hassan, Hussain, Maryam and Asma. In 1971, she married Nawaz Sharif. And when he was arrested by the Musharraf regime in the 1999 coup, she spearheaded the campaign for his release. Due to her illness, Kulsoom was unable to return and formally take oath as a member of the National Assembly. He also directed the Pakistan High Commission in London to assist in the provision of all necessary facilities to the heirs of the deceased.

In a 2012 interview with a local weekly, Maryam had said her mother "dauntlessly challenged the usurper when a lot of men backed out..."

Leaders of political parties and Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, the chief of army staff, extended their condolences to the bereaved family.

Former Pakistan Cricket Board chairperson Najam Sethi also expressed his grief.

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