Pakistan celebrates 55th birth anniversary of slain Bhutto
As the Pakistanis celebrated the 55th birth anniversary of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on Saturday, first after her assassination in December last year, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani announced that Islamabad Airport and Rawalpindi General Hospital have been renamed after Bhutto and a grant of Rs50 million would be issued to the hospital.
Addressing a National Assembly session here Saturday, Gilani paid rich tributes to late Benazir Bhutto and also announced naming after the Murree Road, the main road in Rawalpindi city where she was assassinated, after her. He said she laid her life for democracy. He also announced construction of a monument at the place where Bhutto was martyred in suicide bombing followed by shooting.
Gilani said a summary is being sent to the president to convert death sentences into life imprisonment while 90-day relaxation in terms of prisoners have also been announced on the occasion.
"Let me assure you on this occasion that the present government, backed by the will of the people, will make all possible efforts to accomplish Mohtarma [Madam] Benazir Bhutto's mission for revival of the Constitution in its original form, supremacy of the Parliament, independence of judiciary, freedom of media, provincial autonomy, strengthening of the state institutions to ensure progress, prosperity and well being of the people of Pakistan," he added.
Earlier, the House offered 'fateha' for Benazir Bhutto.
As a mark of respect and in recognition of her unparalleled services for the country, the Pakistan government is observed Bhutto's birth anniversary across the country with simplicity. Official holiday was observed in her home province of Sindh and adjoining Balochistan province.
To pay tributes to the twice-elected former prime minister, seminars, symposiums and poetry-recitals have been held in various cities and towns of the country. The Pakistan Post has issued two commemorative stamps.
The federal government has also decided to build a monument at the site in Rawalpindi where Bhutto was assassinated.
The party leaders and workers from the across the country gathered at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh Bhutto to pay tributes to the brave leader and donated their blood as a sign of respect for her for which camps were also set up across the country.
According to Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Larkana Information Secretary Asghar Shaikh, PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and the entire Sindh cabinet attended a public meeting in hometown of Bhutto on the day. Another public meeting is scheduled at Nishtar Park in Karachi for June 29 in connection with the celebrations.On the occasion, the print media published special supplements and articles paying tributes to the slain leader while electronic media aired special programmes in memory of Bhutto, whose father and two brothers also died unnatural death.