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Kulsoom Nawaz's funeral prayers offered in Lahore

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Islamabad, Sep 14: Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's funeral prayers were offered at a ground at Lahore's Sharif Medical City on Friday.

Her body is being transported to the Sharif family's Jati Umra residence, where she will be laid to rest near the graves of her father-in-law Mian Sharif and brother-in-law Abbas Sharif.

A massive crowd of thousands of politicians, PML-N supporters and well-wishers had gathered to attend the funeral prayers outside the Sharif family's Jati Umra residence, which is adjacent to Sharif Medical City.

Security at the ground was high, and barbed wire was used to separate high-profile attendees from ordinary citizens.

Despite these measures, television footage showed politicians being jostled by the crowd as they were led to their places.

A protective human chain was formed around Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and Maulana Tariq Jameel as the funeral prayers were offered.

Former president Mamnoon Hussain, former law minister Rana Sanaullah, former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Javed Hashmi, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, NA Speaker Asad Qaiser, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, Punjab Housing Minister Mehmoodur Rasheed, former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi, MQM leaders Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Farooq Sattar, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, and Saudi officials were spotted among the attendees.

Ex-premier Nawaz Sharif's wife's casket reached the provincial capital this morning on PIA flight PK-758 from London. Her body was received by members of the Sharif family, including Hamza Shahbaz, and was later transported to Jati Umra via ambulance.

Congregational prayers (Rasm-i-Qul) for Begum Kulsoom will be offered on Sunday between Asr and Maghreb, according to PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb.

Funeral prayers were also offered for Begum Kulsoom at London's Regent Park mosque on Thursday, where hundreds of people showed up to pay their respects. The funeral had been arranged since Kulsoom's sons, Hasan and Hussain, cannot travel to Pakistan.

Other members of the Sharif family, including Asma, Nawaz and Kulsoom's daughter, Shahbaz Sharif, and Zikriya Sharif were all in attendance at the funeral in London, alongside other known faces such as former finance minister Ishaq Dar and former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar.

Shahbaz had travelled to London, where he arrived on Wednesday evening, to take Begum Kulsoom's body back to Lahore for burial.

Begum Kulsoom, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in August last year, passed away in London on September 11.

The sources said the family had received a death certificate issued by the private hospital where Begum Kulsoom Nawaz breathed her last on Tuesday, and the "out-of-England" letter from the coroner’s court, paving the way for the departure of her body to Lahore this evening.

Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Safdar, who were all sentenced to jail by an accountability court weeks before the July 25 polls in the Avenfield property reference, were granted parole by the Punjab government on an application moved by Shahbaz in order to attend Begum Kulsoom's funeral.

The Punjab Home Department later announced an extension in the short 12-hour parole for an additional five days, from Sept 12 (4pm) to September 17 (4pm). The time does not include the time it takes to travel.

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