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Shahbaz contemplating another extension in parole till chehlum of Begum Kulsoom

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News Analysis |

The former Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is mulling ways to re-extend the five-day parole of the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retired) Mohammad Safdar, which ends today. Nawaz’s parole ends today at 4 pm. The Pakistan Muslim League President has been making efforts to receive another extension till Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s chehlum.

After the first parole extension, Nawaz spent last few days mourning the death of his wife, Kulsoom Nawaz. The leaders of the different political parties including Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q), Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Balochistan and counsel generals of the foreign missions paid a visit to Jati Umrah to offer condolences over her demise. All the political parties have paid tributes to the departed soul and termed her a brave lady and acknowledged her contribution to democracy and the country.

The government had, earlier, indicated that if the funeral is delayed, parole can be extended. Since there was no such delay in funeral services, there is no reason for the Punjab government to grant the former first family another extension.

Earlier, the father-daughter duo was not willing to sign the parole papers, and on their behalf, younger Sharif applied for the five-day parole. The decision to extend the parole was to allow the Sharif family to attend the qul khwani (prayers) of Begum Kulsoom. PML-N senior leadership is now, giving an impression that since Nawaz did apply for the parole himself, he should be granted another parole on humanitarian grounds. Speaking to an English daily, former speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq expressed similar sentiments on the matter.

Earlier, the Punjab government had extended a three-day parole to Sharif family to attend the funeral ceremony of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz in Jati Umrah—who passed away on September, 11 at London’s Harley Street Clinic. Political leaders and civil society have praised the deceased over her brave fight against the deadly disease. However, later, the Punjab government’s home department extended the period of parole till 4 pm on Monday.

Read more: Punjab government extends parole of Nawaz, Maryam & Safdar until Monday

The grief-stricken images of the family at the Nur Khan Airbase led to the mixed commentary over the decision, to grant an early parole to the Sharif family. Since, such paroles are not granted to ordinary prisoners, when their loved ones die, the decision to extend five-day parole to Nawaz reflects the divide within the society. The incumbent government should act as promised during the campaign trail to eliminate the disparity in the society.

Its (Government’s) slogan of ‘not-two, but one Pakistan’ needs to be implemented. The government had, earlier, indicated that if the funeral is delayed, parole can be extended. Since there was no such delay in funeral services, there is no reason for the Punjab government to grant the former first family another extension.