Monday marked the third anniversary of the slaying of Benazir Bhutto, and judging by the thousands of Pakistanis who gathered to mourn their nation’s ex-prime minister, the democracy and human rights advocate’s powerful legacy remains alive throughout the troubled nation.
As the AFP is reporting, loyalists from across the country descended on her grave in the southern village of Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, beating their chests and chanting “Bhutto was alive yesterday and Bhutto is alive today.” The first woman to become prime minister of a Muslim country, Bhutto was killed Dec. 27, 2007 in a Taliban-led gun and suicide attack after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi, not far from the capital Islamabad.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari spoke to the crowds who gathered to honor his late wife, pledging allegiance to her vision of transforming Pakistan into a modern democratic state. “This government, your government will complete its five-year term and we will hold transparent elections after that because we want democracy to flourish in Pakistan,” Zardari is quoted by the AFP as saying. He went on to note, “We pay tribute to her courage and leadership…we also vow to continue to fight for the values she upheld and laid down her life for.”