Nawaz Sharif kisses his mother's hand at his home in Lahore. File
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and party president Shahbaz Sharif's mother, Begum Shamim Akhtar, also known as Shamim Bibi, passed away in London on Sunday.
Her body will be brought to Pakistan for burial. Nawaz Sharif is unlikely to accompany it. The news of her death was shared by Attaullah Tarar, PML-N's deputy secretary-general, on Twitter.
The cause of death could not be immediately ascertained, but the nonagenarian had been unwell for the past several months, PML-N member of the Punjab Assembly Azma Bukhari said adding that her condition had become critical over the last week and she breathed her last at home on Sunday. She was over 93.
Shamim Bibi had travelled to London in February and had been living with her son, Nawaz Sharif, since.
Condolences started pouring in as soon as the news of the former premier's mother's demise was reported. Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Dr Arif Alvi and army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa also extended their condolences.
"My condolences and prayers go to the Sharif family on the passing of Mian Nawaz and Mian Shahbaz Sharif's mother," PM Imran wrote on his official Twitter handle.
Gen Qamar'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 grief and heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of Begum Shamim Akhtar and prayed for the departed soul.
Federal ministers and leaders of various political parties also expressed profound grief over the death of Shamim Bibi.
Senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal also prayed for the departed soul. "She was a very pious and brave woman," he tweeted.
Shahbaz Sharif was informed about the death of his mother in the Adiala jail Lahore. His party has sought his release on parole.
Ataullah Tarar said that he spoke to Suleman Shahbaz, son of Shahbaz Sharif in London, over the phone who confirmed his grandmother’s death and said that arrangements are being made to bring the body to Pakistan for burial.
He said that Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza had been informed about the death. He said that a request will be submitted to the court to allow release of Shahbaz Sharif and Hamza Shahbaz on parole so they can attend the funeral.
On the occasion, Shahbaz said he and his family were being victimised for political reasons. "My political opponents are conspiring against me, and that is why fake cases have been registered against me.”
“I cannot blame the entire army for the lawlessness of a few individuals,” he said while addressing via video link to his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) latest power show in Swat Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province on Friday.
After the funeral prayers, Begum Akhtar's body was taken to Jati Umra estate, where she was laid to rest next to the grave of her husband, Muhammad Sharif.
The passport expires on this day, and if the government doesn’t issue a new passport, the former premier will face a difficult situation. Earlier, former finance minister Ishaq Dar is also faced a similar situation.
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