A Brief look at the Life of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz


Born into a Kashmiri Family, Begum Kulsoom Butt was born (March 22, 1950) into a Kashmiri family in Lahore. She is the daughter of Hafiz Butt. She was the grand-daughter of a wrestler Ghulam Muhammad a.k.a Gama Pahalwan. She had two sisters and a brother.

Begum Kulsoom attended Islamia College and graduated from the Forma Christian College in Lahore. She received a Master’s degree in Urdu from the University of Punjab. Begum Kulsoom also received a Ph.D. in Philosophy after her marriage.

In 1971, Begum Kulsoom was married to Nawaz Sharif. The couple had four children.

When military dictator Pervez Musharraf staged a coup in 1999 and put Nawaz Sharif in jail, it was his wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, who hit the streets with the protest of her life.

She vowed to lead a motor procession from Lahore to Peshawar but the military regime had banned all political rallies. Around 50 people were detained as the police surrounded the Sharif family’s Lahore home ahead of the planned rally. Law enforcers stopped people from entering and leaving the area.

Somehow, Begum Kulsoom managed to elude the police barricades. The police stopped her car 10 miles away. A huge overhead crane was brought to lift the front wheels of her car. As the car was dragged to the police compound, Begum Kulsoom refused to leave the vehicle or open the doors. She stayed inside the car for 10 hours. This act of defiance sets her apart in a country where challenging military might is no small feat.

Begum Kulsoom passed away at the Harley Street Clinic on September 11 after doctors put her on life support earlier in the day.