Wife of ex-Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif diagnosed with cancer

Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif poses with his wife, Kulsoom Nawaz Sharif, upon his arrival for the 18th SAARC Summit on 25 November 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kulsoom Nawaz is hoping to replace her husband as a member of parliament

Kulsoom Nawaz, the wife of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has been diagnosed with lymphoma.

The news emerged days after she flew to London for medical tests. Her treatment begins immediately, her daughter said.

Ms Nawaz is due to stand for election to parliament in a by-election in her husband's former seat next month.

He was forced to resign in July after the Supreme Court disqualified him from office for not disclosing assets. Mr Sharif denies wrongdoing.

The couple's daughter, Maryam, tweeted that the cancer had been found on the left side of her mother's neck.

In another tweet she said doctors were hopeful of curing Ms Nawaz because the disease had been diagnosed early.

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. It occurs when tumours build up in tissues found in areas such as the bone marrow or lymph glands.

Earlier reports suggested Ms Nawaz had throat cancer.

Maryam Sharif is now expected to run her mother's political campaign while she undergoes treatment.

"We hope that she will recover soon enough, but it is likely that she won't be around during the days leading up to the election," senior PML-N party member Mushahidullah Khan told BBC Urdu.

Mr Sharif had to vacate his seat after becoming embroiled in the Panama papers scandal.

The papers revealed his children were linked to offshore companies that owned properties in London.

Kulsoom Nawaz's decision to stand for election was seen as a change of plan for the family, who indicated originally that Mr Sharif's younger brother would run for the seat, and then the premiership.

But instead the ruling party elected Sharif loyalist Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as prime minister.

It has been suggested he will hold office until elections next year.

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