ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government decided to extend former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter, Maryam, and son-in-law Captain (retd) Mohammad Safdar’s parole by three days.
The three were released from Adiala Jail on parole hours after Nawaz’s ailing wife, Begum Kulsoom, passed away at a hospital in London.
Nawaz, Maryam and Capt (retd) Safdar were released on a 12-hour parole to attend Begum Kulsoom’s funeral.
The Sharif family had requested that a five-day parole be granted to the three, who are currently serving sentences at Adiala Jail.
Nawaz, Maryam and Capt (retd) Safdar were escorted by police from Adiala Jail to the Nur Khan Airbase from where they were brought to Lahore via special flight at 2:30am today.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif accompanied the three on the flight to Lahore.
Hours after Begum Kulsoom’s passing, Shehbaz had flown from Lahore to Rawalpindi and went straight to Adiala jail to condole to his brother, Nawaz, and niece, Maryam. He had also discussed shifting of Begum Kulsoom’s body and their release on parole for her burial.
According to the Punjab Home Department spokesperson, it has been decided that the Nawaz, Maryam and Capt Safdar’s parole be extended by three days.
A summary in this regard has been forwarded to the Punjab chief minister.
The spokesperson further said, “In case of a delay in Begum Kulsoom’s funeral, the parole will be extended.”
“The extension will be in effect from midnight,” the spokesperson added.
Further, the spokesperson denied that Jati Umra has been declared sub-jail.
She was diagnosed with lymphoma last year, barely a month after Nawaz was removed from office by the Supreme Court, which ordered him to face trial in an anti-corruption court.
Nawaz was in London with his cancer-stricken wife earlier this year when the anti-graft court had handed him a 10-year jail term and sentenced his presumed political heir, Maryam, to seven years in prison over the purchase of luxury flats in London in the 1990s.
Several PML-N leaders had gathered at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal Airport to receive Nawaz, Maryam and Captain (retd) Safdar.
The three are currently at their Jati Umra residence where they are meeting PML-N leaders and family members.
Begum Kulsoom to be laid to rest on Friday
The funeral prayers of ex-premier Nawaz Sharif’s wife, Begum Kulsoom, will be offered at the Regent Park mosque on Thursday after Zuhr and her body will be flown to Lahore after completion of legal formalities.
Her body has been moved to a mortuary near the Regent Park mosque.
The Sharif family has said that the former premier’s wife will be laid to rest on Friday in Jati Umra.
Former first daughter Maryam Nawaz said Tuesday night she was “deeply saddened” by the fact that was unable to be by the bedside of her ailing mother, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, during her last moments before she passed away.
While speaking to media before she was flown off from Rawalpindi to Lahore’s Jati Umra for her mother’s funeral, the PML-N leader said: “Today was extremely difficult after learning of my mother’s death.
“It was extremely painful to know that I wasn’t by my mother’s side” as she breathed her last, she added. “I am deeply saddened.”
Maryam, the daughter of ex-premier Nawaz, also went to voice her appeal to the Pakistani people to pray that God grants her mother the highest place in Paradise.
Begum Kulsoom was briefly a member of parliament from September 2017 to July 2018 when she won her husband’s former seat in a by-election after the Supreme Court disqualified him.
Up until last year’s ousting of the three-time-premier Sharif, who was removed from office in each of his elected terms, she had never been a politician, but she memorably led protests after a 1999 military coup that ended a previous Sharif administration.
With her husband jailed by the then-president General Pervez Musharraf, she broke through a police barricade that had been set up around her home in Lahore in July 2000 in an attempt to prevent her from leading a public rally.
She managed to get away in a car, which was chased by the police for several miles. When police finally surrounded the car, she locked herself in for several hours in a standoff until police finally towed the vehicle away.
The Musharraf regime eventually allowed Nawaz and Begum Kulsoom to leave the country, and they spent years in exile until returning in 2007 to contest new elections.
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The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily