Pakistan marks second death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto

10:56, December 28, 2009      

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A woman holds a portrait of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto during a rally to mark the second anniversary of Benazir Bhutto's death in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on Dec. 27, 2009. Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a suicide bombing during an election rally in Rawalpindi on Dec. 27, 2007. (Xinhua/Bilal Malik)

By Hamid Hussain

The second death anniversary of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was observed on Sunday across the country.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, and other leaders of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) reached Garhi Khuda Bux, a village in the Southeast Province of Sindh, to pay respects to their slain leader, who was assassinated on Dec. 27, 2007 in a gun and suicide attack after addressing an election rally, local TV channel GEO News reported.


People participate in a rally to mark the second anniversary of Benazir Bhutto's death in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on Dec. 27, 2009. Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a suicide bombing during an election rally in Rawalpindi on Dec. 27, 2007. (Xinhua/Bilal Malik)

Gilani in his message said that the life and death of Benazir Bhutto has become a torch light for the people of Pakistan because she strove for the restoration of democracy, public welfare, national security and political awareness in the masses.

Security has been tightened in Garhi Khuda Bux with special force men, Rangers and other security men deployed there.

Meanwhile, police have finalized a special traffic plan to facilitate the people coming to the memorial.

According to sources, the party leadership has decided to mark the ceremony with simplicity due to Muharram-ul-Haram and the central ceremony will be held at the Presidential Camp House instead of a public meeting at Garhi Khuda Bux.

Earlier, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, husband of Benazir Bhutto, said that the government is determined to bring positive change to the country as pledged by Benazir Bhutto.

"Two years ago on this day the tyrants and the extremists killed Pakistan's twice elected Prime Minister. She may have been killed physically but the ideas and ideals of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto shall never be killed," the president said in his message on Benazir Bhutto's second death anniversary.


People participate in a rally to mark the second anniversary of Benazir Bhutto's death in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on Dec. 27, 2009. Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a suicide bombing during an election rally in Rawalpindi on Dec. 27, 2007. (Xinhua/Bilal Malik)

Zardari said the PPP will employ the power of democracy and constitutionalism as its weapons to fight its adversaries and foil all conspiracies against it.

Thousands of loyalists are mourning the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, sources said.

Several thousand faithful gathered outside the grave in the village. Some complained that security officials prevented them from entering the compound.

It was reported that Zardari and his three children visited the grave in private late Saturday.

A function at the site of Benazir Bhutto's killing in Liaqat Bagh, a park in the garrison city adjoining the capital Islamabad, was arranged where hundreds of PPP's workers gathered to attend the ceremony.

Strict security measures have been taken and all the roads leading to Liaqat Bagh have been closed for traffic.

People recited holy Quran for Benazir Bhutto's soul salvation and vowed to enhance her legacy and political wisdom in order to strengthen democracy. They also put wreath flowers at the site for her remembrance. They also shouted slogans in favor of President Asif Ali Zardari and the PPP.

Muhamad Asharaf, a shopkeeper who had joined PPP when it was established in Dec. 1967, has been selling pictures of Benazir Bhutto at Liqat Bagh after her assassination. While taking to Xinhua, he said that he is not selling the pictures for money but rather it is because of his association with the PPP and love for Benazir Bhutto. He said that "I would not leave this place till the arrest of her killers".

People at Liaqat Bagh told Xinhua that the incumbent government should bring to justice the killers of Benazir Bhutto without any further delay. They said that she is not alive but her ideology could not be killed, adding that those who want to destabilize Pakistan should see that they are united and would not let them succeed in their evil designs. 

Source: Xinhua
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