Former premier Nawaz Sharif and former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif’s nonagenarian mother, Begum Shamim Akhtar, passed away after a protracted illness in London on Sunday.
The news was confirmed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ataullah Tarar.
According to sources, Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shehbaz had been informed of Begum Shamim’s demise at the jails they are currently incarcerated in.
Begum Shamim’s last rites will be performed in Lahore after which she will reportedly be buried in the Sharif family’s ancestral graveyard in Lahore. Her body will be flown to Lahore from London keeping in view the flight schedule.
According to PML-N sources, Nawaz Sharif and his sons are not likely to come to Pakistan to attend her funeral prayers. Her funeral prayers will be arranged in Lahore by Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law and PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz’s husband, Captain Safdar and others.
Legal teams of Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz are said to be consulting with jail authorities for their release on payroll to attend the funeral.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, provincial minister for jails and colonies Fayaz ul Hasan Chohan said Shehbaz and Hamza Shehbaz will be released on payroll as soon as the documents required are received by the concerned authorities.
It is to be noted that Nawaz Sharif’s mother had left for London in February despite being seriously ill, as she wished to be present during the PML-N supremo’s cardiac intervention.
According to family, air travel was difficult for Begum Shamim Akhtar, as she was almost 90 years old and unwell, but “she wanted to be with Nawaz during his treatment”.
Begum Shamim’s husband Mian Muhammad Sharif died in 2004 in Jeddah.
Condolences started pouring in as soon as the news of the former premier’s mother’s demise was reported.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Alvi and army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also extended their condolences.
“May Allah Almighty elevate the ranks of the deceased and grant patience to the bereaved family,” the premier said.
Gen Bajwa’s condolences were issued from the Twitter account of the military’s official media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
The army chief expressed gried and heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of Beghum Shamim Akhtar and prayed for the departed soul.
Expressing condolences to Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said, “May Allah Almighty grant her a place in Jannah and grant patience to the mourners.”
Bilawal’s father and former president Asif Ali Zardari also expressed sorrow over the death of Sharif’s mother.
Zardari offered his condolences to former prime minister and former chief minister Punjab saying, “With the death of one’s mother, children are deprived of unparalleled blessings.”
He also prayed for her forgiveness and of her ranks to be elevated in the hereafter.
Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjarani also expressed deep sorrow and grief over the demise of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif’s mother, and prayed for the deceased to achieve the highest place in Jannah.
He extended his condolences to the Sharif family and prayed to Allah to grant patience to the mourners.
Former Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf also conveyed his grief over the death of PML-N supremo’s mother and extended his condolences to her family.
In a tweet, senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal also prayed for the departed soul. “She was a very pious and brave woman,” he said.
Governor Punjab, former prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, his son Moonis Elahi among other senior politicians also expressed their condolences.