Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s 30th death anniversary observed

April 4th, 2009 - 6:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Benazir Bhutto Islamabad, April 4 (IANS) The 30th death anniversary of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan’s first elected prime minister, was observed Saturday with special prayers and memorial meetings across the country and especially in his home province Sindh.
Bhutto, the founder of the country’s ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), had been overthrown by then army chief Gen. Ziaul Haq and was hanged April 4, 1979 after his controversial conspiracy-to-murder conviction.

The main ceremony began at midnight at Garhi Khuda Bukhsh in Sindh, the final resting place of Bhutto, “who preferred to sacrifice his life for the cause of democracy instead of bowing down before a dictator”, The News said.

At 2.05 a.m., the mourners observed two minutes silence.

Thousands of PPP activists poured into Garhi Khuda Bukhsh and waited patiently in queues to visit the final resting places of Bhutto, his slain daughter and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, and sons Shahnawaz and Murtaza Bhutto.

President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza, members of the federal cabinet and the senior leadership of the PPP visited the mausoleum Saturday to offer prayers and pay homage to Bhutto.

Addressing a huge gathering Saturday morning, Zardari said the PPP was fully capable of steering the country out of its various challenges and would carry forward the mission of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto.

He said with the support of masses, no fundamentalist will ever be able to take over the country, the official APP news agency reported.

“I promise you that with your support nothing of this sort will ever happen. No one can break Pakistan,” Zardari maintained.

The Sindh government had deployed 6,000 security personnel in and around the venue, a provincial government official said. Scanners were installed at all entry points to the mausoleum, while body searches were also conducted.

Pakistan Railways operated special trains from Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and Quetta to enable the people to reach Garhi Khuda Bukhsh.

In Islamabad, a function was held at the party’s central office. It began with the Quriaan Khwani prayers, after which prominent PPP leaders addressed the gathering.

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