Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif

Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif

Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif

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Begum Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif, wife of ex Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, was born in Lahore in a respectable Kashmiri family. Her father, Doctor Hafiz Butt, was a well known and honorable figure. Kalsoom Nawaz was educated at Islamia College for women and well known Forman Christian College University, and later received a master degree from Punjab University with a distinction. She completed her PHD thesis on ‘Urdu Shayeri mein Fitrat Nigari 1857’. She is also the grand-daughter of the world famous and invincible wrestler, the Great Gama (maternally), who was also of Kashmiri origin.

During the years that her husband, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, twicebecame the prime minister or led the opposition against the then arch-rival Benazir Bhutto, Kalsoom avoided getting involved in politics herself. That changed on October 12 when General Pervaiz Musharraf ousted Sharif in a coup. Kalsoom, unlike most parties, bluntly called Musharraf an usurper. Her outspoken criticism of the military authorities resulted in angry attacks from the government and alienated some sections of the Pakistan Muslim league.

She, for instance, complained once 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.

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