Islamabad airport named after Benazir Bhutto

June 21st, 2008 - 4:18 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto

Islamabad, June 21 (IANS) The Pakistani capital’s airport, the country’s third largest, has been renamed Benazir Bhutto International Airport in memory of the slain former prime minister, whose 55th birth anniversary was observed Saturday. “Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani has announced this as a mark of respect and reverence for the martyred leader and in recognition of her unparalleled services for the nation and the cause of democracy,” an announcement from the PM House said.

The Rawalpindi General Hospital, where Bhutto died Dec 27 after a gun-and-bomb attack as she left a public rally, has been renamed Benazir Bhutto Hospital.

The hospital is located on Murree Road that runs through much of Rawalpindi and connects it to the Murree hill resort. This has been renamed Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Road.

“However, it came as a surprise for many that the government, instead of naming the under-construction airport (at Islamabad) after the late leader, preferred to rename the existing one,” Dawn said Saturday.

Operations would shift from the existing airport to the new airport in 2010-11. The new airport would be the country’s largest and most modern airport.

The new airport is yet to be officially given a name.

The 600-bed Rawalpindi General Hospital was constructed in the 1960s when the federal capital shifted here from Karachi.

“Due to paucity of resources, the overburdened teaching hospital is presently a shambles. The federal government also announced a grant of Rs.50 million for the upgradation of the hospital,” Dawn said.

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