Bhutto’s family reaches Islamabad, burial in Larkana

By Muhammad Najeeb, IANS

Islamabad : The husband and three children of assassinated former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto reached Islamabad after midnight Thursday and will accompany her coffin to her hometown Larkana on a military C-130 plane, her party leader said.

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“Benazir’s husband Asif Ali Zardari, her three children, Bilawal, Bakhtawar and Assefa, have reached Islamabad airport from the UAE,” Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Safdar Soomro told IANS.

He said that the government has arranged a C-130 plane on which the body will be flown to her hometown Larkana in Sindh. Soomro confirmed that Bhutto’s body had already reached the airport and could be flown to Larkana any time.

Soomro said that she would be buried at her family’s ancestral graveyard in Garhi Khuda Bukhsh near Larkana. Bhutto’s father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and elder brother Murtaza are buried at the same graveyard.

However, he was not sure about the time of burial, which could be delayed to allow international leaders to reach the country for the funeral.

Soomro said that they had received messages that many world leaders are planning to travel to Pakistan to participate in the last rituals of the slain Pakistani leader. When asked if it would be a state funeral, Soomro said that he has not received any such information from the government and neither President Pervez Musharraf, who addressed the nation over television, had hinted at this. He, however, said that the government would observe a three-day mourning.

Meanwhile, hundreds of PPP workers and supporters have started journeying to Larkana to pay homage to the charismatic leader of Pakistan who was twice elected prime minister.