PESHAWAR: PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz on Sunday abruptly left the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) rally in the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after she was told her grandmother Begum Shamim Akhtar had passed away in London.
Begum Shamim Akhtar — the mother of former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, as well as Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and the party’s president, Shahbaz Sharif — was 89 years old at the time of her death.
Maryam Nawaz also requested those attending the rally to pray for her grandmother.
“Greetings, my brothers, sisters, and elders of Peshawar. I had wished to speak here today… I had come here to meet you all,” she said. “However, I was just informed that my paternal grandmother has passed away in London.
“Nawaz Sharif’s mother has died in London; she was with him there,” the PML-N leader announced.
“So, I apologise to you all that I was unable to speak to you today, I request you to please pray for my grandmother — who has met her creator — and to pray for Mian sahab‘s health and life.
“Thank you,” Maryam Nawaz said, waving back to her fans and supporters before she stepped off the stage.
A few hours after the news of Begum Shamim Akhtar’s death broke, the PML-N VP revealed that she had received the news “two hours late due to suspension of phone services”.
‘No humanity expected’ from PTI govt
“My father and family kept trying to contact me but could not,” she said, lambasting the incumbent PTI-led government for being inconsiderate and noting how “no government official was humane enough to inform me of my grandmother’s death”.
“I have requested Mian sahab not to come back [to Pakistan] at all. These are tyrants, these are the people hellbent on exacting revenge, and no humanity is expected from them,” Maryam Nawaz wrote on Twitter.
Body to be transported to Pakistan for burial
Begum Shamim Akhtar had developed a severe chest infection and was suffering from an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Her condition had deteriorated over the last week and she could not regain her health due to old age.
The deceased was receiving treatment at a London hospital and her body was kept at the Avenfield Apartments where she was staying with Nawaz Sharif.
Sources added that her death certificate, with the cause of death stated on it, would be issued by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court coroner, after which the body would be released.
The Sharif family would make arrangements to transport the body to Pakistan for burial once the death certificate was issued.