ISLAMABAD  -  Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday decided that the PPP will fully participate in funeral of Kulsoom Nawaz – wife of former premier Mian Nawaz Sharif – in Jati Umra today.

The PPP leader named a delegation including former prime ministers Yousaf Raza Gillani and Raja Pervez Ashraf to attend the funeral. Khurshid Shah, Naveed Qamar, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed and Hassan Murtza will also offer the funeral prayers on behalf of the PPP.

Senior PPP leaders said that Bilawal and former president Asif Ali Zardari’s participation was not cleared by the security. However, they would visit the Sharif family at their Jati Umra residence soon for condolence. “Bilawal dearly wanted to attend the funeral but there were security concerns”, a close aide of the PPP chief told The Nation.

Earlier, the authorities extended the parole of Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Muhammed Safdar for 3 days to attend the last rites of Kulsoom Nawaz. They will remain within the boundaries of Jati Umra residence and will only be allowed to meet their family members.

The Sharif family was earlier released from Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail on 12-hour parole hours after the former first lady passed away in a London hospital. They were escorted by police to Nur Khan Airbase from where they were taken to Lahore.

First funeral prayer of Kulsoom Nawaz was offered yesterday in London’s Regent Park mosque. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif and other family members were in London to attend the first funeral and bring Kulsoom Nawaz’s body back to Pakistan. A second funeral prayer will be held at Jati Umra today.

Kulsoom Nawaz will be laid to rest the same day beside the grave of her father-in-law Mian Muhammed Sharif at Jati Umra. Nawaz Sharif sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz will not be in Lahore to attend the funeral prayers.

Kulsoom Nawaz had passed away at London’s Harley Street Clinic on September 11 after a prolonged battle with cancer.

Hours after the death of former first lady, PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan tendered an ‘unconditional’ apology to the Sharif family for hurting their sentiments during her cancer treatment. Ahsan said that he was deeply saddened over Kulsoom Nawaz’s death and wanted to apologise for the bitter comments he had made in the past. “I unconditionally apologise for my statement. I will attend Kulsoom Bibi’s funeral,” he said. He termed Kulsoom Nawaz as a kind-hearted and pious lady, adding that her death was a big loss to the Sharif family.

A few months back, Ahsan had not only ridiculed Kulsoom Nawaz but had also belittled the ordeal of Maryam Nawaz and Nawaz Sharif. He had gone to the extent saying Harley Street Clinic where Kulsoom Nawaz was admitted for cancer treatment was owned and operated by Sharifs. Aitzaz Ahsan also claimed that the clinic was not meant for cancer patients.

Alleging that the clinic only conducted bypass surgeries of human hearts, the PPP leader had said that former premier Nawaz Sharif was tending to his ailing wife as a delaying tactic in corruption references against him.

 

 

SHAFQAT ALI