Sonia ''shocked and saddened'' at Benazir's assassination

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New Delhi, Dec 27 (UNI) Congress President Sonia Gandhi tonight expressed her ''shock and sadness'' at the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, terming it a ''reprehensible act'' and a ''great tragedy'' for the people of Pakistan.

''The news of the assassination of Ms Bhutto has deeply shocked and saddened us all. Her life's unrealised potential has been brutally cut short,'' she said, in a statement here.

She called it ''a great tragedy'' for the people of Pakistan to lose a ''popular and charismatic leader at this critical juncture.'' ''This reprehensible act deserves to be strongly condemned by all those who believe in freedom of expression and democratic values.

Her assassination is a painful reminder of the grave threat posed by the forces of violence and terror to the civilised world,'' the Congress president said.

Ms Gandhi said her heart went out to her loving children and family, her friends, and followers in their moment of grief.

''On behalf of the Indian National Congress and my own behalf I convey my deep-felt condolences to her family and the people of Pakistan and wish them all strength and fortitude to bear this irreparable loss,'' she said.

UNI

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