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Mother of Democracy Nusrat Bhutto laid to rest

25 October, 2011

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GARHI KHUDA BAKHSH: Begum Nusrat Bhutto was laid to rest next to the grave of her husband Zulfikar Ali Bhutto at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh Bhutto graveyard on Monday.

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, grandson of Nusrat Bhutto, lowered her mortal remains into the grave and placed it in accordance with Islamic traditions.

He was the first to cover his grandmother's grave and was assisted by his father President Asif Ali Zardari in discharging the responsibility, which Muslims are obliged to undertake while performing funeral rites.

Earlier, the funeral prayer of Begum Nusrat Bhutto, who has been posthumously entitled as the Mother of Democracy, was offered at the President's House. Mufti Abdul Raheem Kandhar led the funeral prayer.

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, PPP Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira, Federal Minister Syed Naveed Qamar, former ministers Babar Awan and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, PPP Secretary General Jahangir Badr, Zamarad Khan, NA Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Yaqub Khan, former AJK prime minister Barrister Sultan Mehmood, Federal Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Farahatullah Babar, Sharjeel Inam Memon, Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, and Sindh ministers Agha Siraj Durrani and Manzoor Hussain Wassan attended the funeral and burial of Begum Bhutto.

Hundreds of PPP workers and leaders, besides prominent persons from all walks of life also attended the funeral prayer.

Leaders of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, including Farooq Sattar were also present. Strict security measures were taken on the occasion with deployment of heavy contingents of police and Rangers.

The body of late Begum Nusrat Bhutto was earlier brought by a special plane to Sukkur Airport from Dubai from where a helicopter shifted the body to Naudero. President Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani arrived with the coffin of Begum Nusrat Bhutto as a mark of respect to the mother of Benazir Bhutto.

Syed Ghaus Ali Shah, of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) along with senior party members were among several prominent politicians to reach Naudero House as a mark of respect for the lady. A contingent of the Sindh Police presented a guard of honour to the late Nusrat Bhutto. It was announced on the occasion that Soyem for Begum Bhutto would be held at President House here on Wednesday at 4pm.

Meanwhile, the US embassy has offered its condolences upon the death of Begum Nusrat Bhutto. A statement issued by the US embassy said, Nusrat Bhutto was a champion of democracy in Pakistan who faced persecution for her commitment.

"The embassy offers its heartfelt condolences to the Bhutto family, President Asif Ali Zardari, and Bhutto's colleagues and well-wishers nationwide," it added. The former chairperson first lady died in Dubai on Sunday at the age of 82. She was of Iranian origin and was born in a wealthy Hariri family in Isfahan on March 23, 1929.

On Sunday, after hearing the news of Nusrat Bhutto's death, President Zardari left his Jordan trip incomplete and reached Dubai.

The provincial governments of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan had announced a public holiday on Monday while the State Bank of Pakistan and public and private sector banks also remained closed to mourn the death.

End.

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