JEDDAH: The Pakistani community here held a number of meetings to express their shock and grief over the assassination of former Premier Benazir Bhutto. A large number of people attended the meeting. Syed Riaz Bukhari, a Pakistan People’s Party supporter, speaking at a condolence meeting at the English section of Pakistan International School yesterday said Benazir’s assassination had dealt a serious blow to the country and its people.“I have been associated with the PPP for the last 40 years. Benazir was a great leader,” said Bukhari, adding, “None other than a member of the Bhutto family can fill the vacuum.“We strongly support the nomination of Bilawal, the son of Benazir, as the new chairperson of the PPP,” he said.
Though Bilawal is naive, his presence will strengthen the party and boost the workers’ morale, said Bukhari.Expressing their views, the speakers including Sardar Javed, media secretary of Kashmir Community, Tasssuwar Chaudhary, Saleem Abbasi, Dilshad Jani, Chaudhary Ghazanfar and Shaikh Luqman, strongly condemned the killing of Benazir and demanded a neutral and independent inquiry in which a PPP-nominated High Court judge should be involved.
They accused the government of trying to frame a third party and also rejected the government version of the cause of her death.“We express our condemnation of this horrendous crime committed by some wicked elements,” the speakers said. “Pakistan lost its three prime ministers since its inception, how long shall we remain silent by watching and condemning such killings,” said Saleem Abbasi.Raja Sameer, a former student at PISJ-ES, said Bilawal should be given some time to prove his abilities.
A condolence book has been placed at the Consulate General of Pakistan in Jeddah, where people pour in to express their sympathies.In Riyadh, members of the Pakistani community paid rich tributes to Benazir at a condolence meeting arranged by the Vice President of Awam Dost Group, Abdul Karim Khan. Abdul Karim said she was killed by the enemies of Pakistan who wanted to destabilize the country. Another speaker Fayyaz Khan said Benazir was assassinated by the same people who had hanged her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.Faiz Al-Najdi, president of the Pakistan Writers Club, said it was unfortunate that yet another popular leader was murdered by the enemy of the country. He said those who assassinated Benazir were afraid of her rising popularity.
Sardar Razzak called for calm at this “tragic moment” suggesting it was high time that all political leaders sat down and pondered ways to bring the country out of the current mess.Others who spoke were Javed Iqbal, Asghar Qureshi, Tariq Chaudhry, Naim Awan, Raja Farooq, Sardar Sher Afzal, Farman Ali, Qazi Ishaq Memon, Shahjahan Sherazi, Abu Zafar, Abdul Qadir Mirza, Sanobar Sani and Raja Moazzam.-SANA