Begum Kalsoom voice of democracy who tested dictator: Shehbaz
Maryam also pays tribute to her mother on second death anniversary
Late Begum Kalsoom Nawaz proved to be a courageous voice of democracy and represented the people’s resistance against dictatorship, said PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif as he paid glowing tributes to her on her second death anniversary.
In a statement, Shehbaz said Begum Kalsoom enjoyed a unique status in the nation’s history due to her bravery and wisdom. Despite not being in practical politics, she came out in public during a turbulent period and faced the dictatorship with bravery, he recalled with reference to the Musharraf regime.
“My great sister left this world when her husband Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam Nawaz were forced to face unjustified imprisonment,” said the PML-N president. “She played a great role as a kind mother, proud sister, dutiful daughter and caring wife.”
Begum Kalsoom received respect not only in Pakistan but also in the entire world due to her character and actions, he noted and added that they would always feel the pain and regret that the cheap political rivals did politics on the life-threatening ailment of his great sister.
Similarly, Maryam Nawaz said there had not been a single moment during the past two years when she did not miss her. “With you not with me in your physical presence, life is never going to be the same,” she added in a tweet.
Begum Kalsoom was diagnosed with early-stage lymphoma in August 2017 and had remained in London since where she died on September 11 after multiple surgeries and chemotherapy sessions.
Later, she suffered a cardiac arrest and was placed on a ventilator in June this year.
When Nawaz and Maryam left for Pakistan just two weeks before the July 25 elections, knowing they would be imprisoned, they could not talk to her as she was in serious condition in the intensive care unit.
Earlier, she was elected to the National Assembly from NA-120, Lahore, in a by-election after Nawaz was disqualified the Supreme Court last year. However, she could not even campaign for the by-poll as she had to left for London for treatment. It was Maryam who did the electioneering in difficult circumstances despite the fact that the PML-N was still in power both in Centre and Punjab.
Born in 1950 in Lahore, Begum Kalsoom attended Islamia College and graduated from the FC College in Lahore. She received a Master's degree in Urdu from Punjab University in 1970.
She married Nawaz in 1971, and served as the president of the PML-N for three years after the Musharraf-led coup on October 12, 1999. Both Begum Kalsoom and Maryam were placed under house arrest following Nawaz's dismissal.
Late Begum Kalsoom led defiant protests against the Musharraf regime and managed to get her husband freed from prison.
In a 2012 interview with Newsweek, Maryam had said her mother "dauntlessly challenged the usurper when a lot of men backed out... She’s contributed famously to my father’s life and to democracy in Pakistan."