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Monday, December 31, 2007

Benazir Bhutto - Amid Flowers

The former prime minister and leader of the Pakistan People’s Party was killed December 27th at a rally in Rawalpindi. There, at her burial place in Garhi Khuda Baksh and across the nation, flowers fell in her honor.


A mourner lights a candle during prayers for Benazir Bhutto in Lahore, Pakistan, December 29, 2007.

Photo: Mohsin Raza, for Reuters


Bhutto’s daughters Asifa (at left) and Bakhtawar pray beside the funeral bier covered with rose petals and marigolds. The former prime minister was buried Dec. 28 at the family mausoleum in Garhi Khuda, next to her father and two brothers.

Photo: Aamir Qureshi, for AFP


Photo: David Guttenfelder, for AP

Bhutto had returned to Pakistan in October after eight years of self-imposed exile. On October 18, another assassination attempt failed, but killed 130 her supporters, wounding many more. She prayed with the widows of those who died.

imagePhoto: Mian Khursheed, for Reuters

In floral regalia, opposition leader Benazir Bhutto waved to crowds at the election rally in Rawalpindi December 27, just before a gunman and suicide bomber killed her and many of her supporters. Bhutto had served two terms as prime minister but been forced out of office on charges of corruption, charges she always denied.


“In our part of the world, politicians have to take their campaigns to the street,” Pakistani political analyst Nusrat Javed told TIME. “Bhutto’s base doesn’t watch TV. They need rallies, cavalcades. Unless you do it this way, you cannot survive as a populist party.”

At least 31 of her supporters also died in the attack. There are conflicting reports as to the cause of her death—whether by a gunshot or from the impact of the bomb blast. Thus far the family has not called for an autopsy, a practice that is considered desecration in most of the Muslim world.


Bhutto’s friends and political supporters mourned over her grave at the Bhutto family mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Baksh. The Pakistan People’s Party named her 19-year-old son as its new leader Dec. 30 and announced it would contest the upcoming general elections.

Photo: Asif Hassan, for AFP


Bhutto’s supporters lay flowers in front of the leader’s portrait during a ceremony, Saturday, Dec. 29, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The service marked the third day of her death (known as Soyem).

Photo: Mohammad Zubair, for AP


Posted by Julie on 12/31 at 12:46 PM
Culture & SocietyPoliticsReligious RitualsPermalink