Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, passed away in London on Tuesday after suffering from complications related to cancer. She was diagnosed with lymphoma past year, barely a month after Nawaz Sharif was removed from office by the Pakistan Supreme Court, which ordered him to face trial in an anti-corruption court.
"Feeling so sorry for Maryam and Mian sahib (Nawaz Sharif)", tweeted one user, Mobeen Shafaat. She was closest to former premier Nawaz Sharif in terms of relation but was not dragged into the Panama Papers controversy that led to the disqualification of her husband.
But after Sharif was first imprisoned following a military coup in 1999, Kulsoom Nawaz stepped into the limelight, Farouq said.
Nawaz Sharif and Maryam were informed about the tragedy by authorities at the Adiala Jail where the two, along with Maryam's husband Captain (r) Muhammad Safdar, are now serving their sentences in the Avenfield illegal assets reference.
Nawaz Sharif and Maryam were convicted in July by an anti-corruption court for not being able to prove the source of assets used to purchase a set of upmarket London apartments.
The Musharraf regime eventually allowed Nawaz and Kulsoom Sharif to leave the country, and they spent years in exile until returning in 2007 to contest new elections after Musharraf stepped down in the face of mass protests.
Hospitalised for eight months at Hartley clinic in the British capital, reports on Tuesday morning said her health deteriorated further and she was placed back on the ventilator. She has been on life-support in the hospital since July this year.
In September that year, she handily won that by-election, beating out the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) Yasmin Rashid, despite not being able to campaign.
The funeral prayers of Pakistan's former first lady will be offered at the Regent's Park mosque in central London. He also directed the Pakistan High Commission in London to assist in the provision of all necessary facilities to the heirs of the deceased.
Begum Kulsoom served as first lady of Pakistan in her husband's three non-consecutive terms as prime minister from 1990-1993, 1997-1999 and 2013-2017.
"Sad to learn of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's death".
She was born into a Kashmiri family in Punjab and graduated from Forman Christian College.
Former Pakistan Cricket Board chairperson Najam Sethi also expressed his grief.