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November 28, 2020

Nawaz offers funeral prayers for mother

Top Story

November 28, 2020

LONDON: The Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) supremo and former prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif offered the funeral prayers of his mother, Begum Shamim Akhtar, here along with several family and party members. The prayers were held at the London Central Mosque — alternatively known as Regent's Park Mosque — where the number of participants had to be limited to 30 under the United Kingdom's coronavirus guidelines. The funeral prayers were offered at 11am GMT. The former Pakistan premier had arrived at the mosque in a convoy of cars with his family members and colleagues. Those who were allowed entry inside the mosque included Sharif’s son, Shahbaz Sharif's family members, Ishaq Dar’s family, Nasir Janjua, Nasir Butt, former MPA doctor Ashraf Chohan, doctor Adnan Khan and two PML-N officials.

After the prayers, Begum Shamim's body was taken to the London's Heathrow Airport for repatriation to Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif and other family members accompanied the dead body to the Heathrow Airport from where it was flown to Pakistan on British Airways flight 259. The flight left for Pakistan around 6pm BST and was set to land at the Lahore airport at around 7am PST.

Earlier, ex-finance minister Ishaq Dar had announced that Nawaz Sharif would not be able to accompany his mother's body to Pakistan as he was not declared medically fit to travel by his doctors.

Begum Shamim Akhtar passed away in London on November 22 at the age of 89. She had developed a severe chest infection and was suffering from an advanced stage of Alzheimer's disease. Her condition had deteriorated 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. The body had been transferred to the London Central Mosque's mortuary late Sunday night after the coroner and local police spent about three hours at the Sharif family's apartment to complete the paperwork to determine the cause of death and other legal requirements.

Funeral prayers of Begum Shamim Akhtar will also be offered at the Sharif Medical City in Jati Umrah on Saturday after which her body will be laid to rest. The Punjab government on Tuesday approved releasing Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Shahbaz on five-day parole to attend Begum Shamim’s funeral subjected to her body’s arrival in the country. The two leaders have been imprisoned after being charged for money laundering.