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Wednesday Apr 18 2018

Nawaz, Maryam arrive in London to see ailing Begum Kulsoom


LONDON: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz arrived in London on Wednesday night to visit the ex-premier's wife, who is undergoing treatment for cancer here.

High Commissioner Syed Ibne Abbas welcomed the former premier at London's Heathrow Airport.

Nawaz and Maryam will go to the hospital from the airport inquire Begum Kulsoom Nawaz about her health.

Begum Kulsoom has been critically ill and admitted to a hospital for the past few days, a family spokesperson said.

"My mother is hospitalised again. Please remember her in your special prayers," wrote Maryam on Twitter before the flight.

"I know prayers can do wonders. Allah answers prayers. Thank you."

The father-daughter duo is set to return on April 22, 2018, as per their ticket information.

Moreover, prior to departure, Maryam also tweeted that in case they are not granted an exemption from appearing in court, they will come back for the hearing. 

Nawaz and his family are facing three corruption cases in the accountability court after the National Accountability Bureau filed references against them in light of the Supreme Court's verdict in the Panama Papers case.

The next hearing of the case is on April 23.

In response to the visit, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said that the trip is concerning, especially considering the ongoing court cases.

Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's illness  

Kulsoom, who has been in a London hospital for the past couple of days, was initially taken to the emergency room. However, her condition was said to have stabilised post-treatment.

She is likely to remain hospitalised for her radiotherapy for another two weeks.

She has been undergoing chemotherapy in London after being diagnosed with lymphoma — a cancer of the lymph nodes — in the middle of last year.

She has undergone six chemotherapy sessions in total and had three surgeries during the last seven months.

On March 6, doctors treating the former prime minister's wife had noted the reappearance of tumour nodes.

Begum Kulsoom was first diagnosed with the disease by British doctors on August 22, 2017, after having left for London unexpectedly on August 17 for a medical checkup.

It is noteworthy that she flew out the same day as when her nomination papers for the NA-120 constituency were accepted amid much political hype. She later bagged the Lahore seat, vacated after her husband's disqualification from Parliament, with help from Maryam who campaign vigorously on her behalf.