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Nawaz Sharif's wife dies in London

Published : Tuesday, 11 September, 2018 at 7:29 PM Count : 363

Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of Pakistan's ousted former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has died in London. She was 68.

The three-time first lady was diagnosed with cancer in August 2017, and suffered a heart attack on 14 June.

Her husband and daughter, Maryam, are both in jail in Pakistan. They returned to face corruption convictions ahead of July's election, leaving the ailing Ms Nawaz in London.

She was elected as an MP in 2017 after standing in for Nawaz Sharif.

But she was not sworn in as she was already abroad for cancer treatment.

When Nawaz and Maryam Sharif left London for Pakistan in July, they knew they faced lengthy jail terms and would likely not see Ms Nawaz again.

The PTI party of recently elected Prime Minister Imran Khan said he "expressed deep sorrow over the sad demise" of Ms Nawaz.

Kulsoom Nawaz married Nawaz Sharif in 1971 and her husband was prime minister of Pakistan on three occasions - 1990-1993, 1997-1999 and 2013-2017.

Ms Nawaz was born Kulsoom Rehana Butt in 1950 to a businessman and investor, Mohammad Hafeez Butt, and his wife Razia Begum.

She had two sisters and two brothers.

Mr Butt's family has Kashmiri origins and has deep roots in Lahore city, while Razia Begum hailed from a well-known family of wrestlers from Amritsar, India, who migrated to Lahore in 1947.

Ms Nawaz is the granddaughter of the famous wrestler Gama Pehlwan, or the Great Gama, on her maternal side.

She completed her Masters in Urdu literature from Lahore's prestigious Foreman Christian College University in 1970, and soon after married Mr Sharif, who came from a family of wealthy industrialists.

However their industries were nationalised in the 1970s under the socialist regime of the country's first popularly elected prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. As a result, the family welcomed the military coup of 1977 which toppled Mr Bhutto's government and sent him to the gallows two years later following a controversial trial.



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