Former Pakistani first lady Kulsoom Nawaz dies

Kulsoom Nawaz

Former three-time Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif's wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, breathed her last at a London hospital on Tuesday.

The former Pakistani first lady was diagnosed with early-stage lymphoma in August a year ago and underwent several operations and at least five chemotherapy sessions, reported the Dawn. She contested from the NA-120 seat despite her failing health and secured 59,413 votes to defeat Yasmin Rashid of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Sharif was ousted from the premiership a month before his wife's diagnosis. She was diagnosed with lymphoma past year, barely a month after Nawaz Sharif was removed from office by the Supreme Court.

The father and daughter left her bedside to return to Pakistan to rally their followers ahead of July 25 elections, which their party lost to the former cricket star Imran Khan's party. According to sources, Kulsoom Nawaz will be buried in Pakistan as authoritie to bring her body back from London. "May her soul rest in peace", Shehbaz Sharif said in a twitter announcement.

"She was a courageous lady", Siddiq-ul-Farouq, a stalwart party loyalist, told AFP, describing her as well-educated and dignified.

"My sister-in-law and wife of Mian Nawaz Sharif, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz is no more". The couple had four children - two sons and two daughters.

Nawaz Sharif was in London with Kulsoom earlier this year when the anti-corruption court 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. She was under treatment at London's Harley Street Clinic since July a year ago. Sharif was eventually allowed to go into exile in Saudi Arabia in 2007. She was suffering from cancer.

The prime minister has directed the Pakistan high commission in London to assist in provision of all necessary facilities to the family of the deceased, said an official statement.

Since then, Nawaz and Maryam have been making regular making trips to the United Kingdom to visit Kulsoom.

Shortly after the news broke on media, condolence messages began pouring in. "They had to leave her behind, I don't know what they'll be going through right now".

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