Former First Lady, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz
Begum Kalsoom Nawaz is wife of former Prime minister of Pakistan Mian Muhamamd Nawaz Sharif. She is also the grand-daughter of the world famous and invincible wrestler, the Great Gama
Begum Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif PhD, is the wife of 12th Prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif,and was the First Lady of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from 1990 till 1993 and from 1996 till 1998.
Kalsoom was born in Lahore in a respectable Kashmiri family. Her father, Dr. Hafiz Butt, was a physician who was a well known and honorable medical figure. Kalsoom Nawaz was educated at Islamia College where she received her B.A. in Elementary education in 1970. She as well attended the well-known Forman Christian College University, and received B.A. in Urdu literature in 1972. Kalsoom Nawaz also holds an M.A. in Urdu poetry from Punjab University with a distinction. In 1976, Kalsoom completed her doctoral thesis where her thesis written on “Urdu Shayeri mein Fitrat Nigari 1857” (English: The Western Art of Poetry in Urdu language) from Punjab University. Her thesis contained the fundamental work on Western poetry and its influence to Urdu language and poetry. She is also the grand-daughter of the world famous and invincible wrestler, the Great Gama (maternally), who was also of Kashmiri origin.
Kalsoom avoided herself to involved in the national politics working for the advancement of women in Pakistan. During the years that her husband, Nawaz Sharif, twice became the prime minister or even led the opposition against the then arch-rival Benazir Bhutto, Kalsoom avoided getting involved in politics herself.
However, this was changed when Chief of Army Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Pervez Musharraf led a military coup d’état against her husband on October 12, 1999. Kalsoom was arrested by female member of Pakistan Army Corps of Military Police and immediately shifted to her local resident unlike her husband who was taken to Adiala Jail. Kalsoom, unlike most parties, bluntly called Musharraf an usurper. Sharif named Kalsoom as the President of Pakistan Muslim League in 1999. Her outspoken criticism of the military authorities resulted in angry attacks from the government and alienated some sections of the Pakistan Muslim League. For instance, she once complained that many elements in the PML have not supported her, but rather opted for a policy of non-confrontation with the army. For months before the exile of Nawaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia, Kalsoom built a momentum for political activity. It paid off in the form of putting an end to the agony of her husband in jail.
Govt pressure on Nawaz counsel: Kulsoom
Begum Kulsoom Nawaz has alleged that the government is pressurizing Nawaz Sharif’s counsel to withdraw from various cases constituted against him.
She was addressing party workers at a function held under the auspices of the Majlis-i-Tahaffuz-i-Pakistan at her Model Town residence on Sunday. The function was also addressed by former federal minister Tehmina Daultana, state minister Anwarul Haq Ramay and ex-MPA Malik Nadeem Kamran from Sahiwal.
Begum Kulsoom Nawaz said lawyers were receiving threatening calls regularly. “The government thought that no lawyer would represent the former prime minister after the murder of Iqbal Raad but they forgot that truth has always its support from those having commitment and courage”, she said.
Begum Kulsoom Nawaz criticized the government for the increase in the price of electricity. She said it would have an impact on the prices of items of daily use. Together with reports of proposed increase in petrol price, it indicates a grave situation for the days to come which the present government would unable to handle. There is an urgent need for the revival of the Nawaz Sharif government so that crucial decisions are taken by the political leadership of the country through a consensus, she said.
Begum Kulsoom Nawaz announced that the Majlis-i-Tahaffuz-i-Pakistan had decided to establish a monitoring cell from the centre to district level to keep a vigil on irregularities being committed by the present government. Members of these cells would identify the important figures in the government recommending names of Qadianis for posting in strategic posts. Names of persons informing the government about the corruption of the present government would not only be kept secret but the majlis would guarantee their protection.
She paid glowing tributes to former federal minister Tehmina Daultana for her courage and resolution and said hardships of imprisonment had failed to shatter her confidence.
Begum Kulsoom Nawaz blasted the federal religious affairs minister for his statement regarding Qadianis. She said it was a greater tragedy than the fall of Dacca as the minister had attacked a piece of legislation passed by the National Assembly with a consensus. “The government should clarify its standpoint on the announcement of a Jehad against Musalma Kazab by the First Pious Caliph, if it considers the Tahaffuz-i-Namoos-i-Risalat Law an emotional decision”, she said, adding that the government measures were inviting the people to launch a movement on the pattern of the one witnessed in 1953. Begum Kulsoom Nawaz urged the people and armed forces to take notice of the activities of Mansoor Ijaz who she said was trying to broker a secret agreement on Kashmir. She also questioned the chief executive’s offer of rolling back nuclear and missile technology. “Who gave him authority to make such an offer ?”, she asked.
Mr Anwarul Haq Ramay said the PML would support the PPP in its political struggle but would not form an election alliance.