I begged Benazir to avoid election rally: Zardari

January 7th, 2008 - 5:33 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto

Karachi, Jan 7 (ANI): Asif Ali Zardari had begged former premier Benazir Bhutto on the phone to stop holding election rallies and let him take her place, the night before her tragic assassination on December 27.
“She had just addressed this public meeting in Peshawar where theyd caught this suicide bomber,” he said.
“I told her, for Gods sake to be careful, but she said, What can I do? I have to go and meet my people. I pleaded with her: You stay home and Ill go do the rallies. Youre the mother,” Zardari said.
“I always used to tell her that as long as the queen bee is alive we workers will always live . . . but I guess it wasnt so,” he added.
“It was such a shock,” he said. “After she survived the Karachi bus bombing (on her reception rally on October18), we were all of the opinion that she was superwoman and could survive anything, but it turns out she wasnt,” The Times quoted Zardari, as saying.
Every day since then, thousands of people have arrived by truck, by donkey cart or on foot to pray and toss fresh rose petals on the mounds covering the tombs.
On the dusty streets outside, colourful banners still hang from October proclaiming “Welcome Benazir”. Many mourners make their way to the Bhutto house, where, from 10 in the morning until 10 at night, Zardari receives condolences, as he will do for 40 days.
Some are from Bhuttos long-term associates or friends; others say they saw her as a mother or a sister. Often the women collapse wailing, an outpouring of emotion that has led to comparisons with the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Zardari was speaking at Bhuttos ancestral home in Naudero, in rural Sindh province.
Not only has he lost a wife but, by taking over her Pakistan Peoples party (PPP), he has also become the countrys number one assassination target. (ANI)

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