New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the Pakistan High Commission here Friday to mourn the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and said Pakistan and South Asia have lost a leader deeply “committed to peace and democracy”.
Manmohan Singh, along with his convoy, reached the high commission at about 3.15 p.m. in his official limousine and was escorted up the steps into the main portico inside the building.
Underneath a photograph of the late Benazir Bhutto in the embassy, the PM wrote in the official condolence book: “In her sad and the untimely death, Pakistan and South Asia have lost an outstanding political leader who was passionately committed to moderation, democracy, peace and friendship.”
“It was with the deepest sense of horror and sorrow that I have learnt of the tragic demise of Madam Benazir Bhutto.
“I convey my heartfelt condolences to her family and the people of Pakistan,” added the PM.
Since morning, the imposing iron wrought gates of the embassy had been opened frequently to let in a stream of visitors – senior Indian political leaders and ambassadors of various countries.
The green Pakistani flag with its white crescent had been flying at half-mast, after President Pervez Muhsarraf announced three days’ official mourning.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had been early visitors to the high commission.
Earlier in the morning at Goa, Manmohan Singh had said the killing of Bhutto was a reminder of the destructive ability of terrorism and reiterated the need to work together to deal with the menace.
“The great tragedy once again is a reminder to all of us of the great harm that terrorism can do to the peace, prosperity and well being of the region,” he said.