Morning walkers stay indoors in Lahore

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Attari-Wagah, Dec 28 (UNI) Early morning walkers stayed indoors in Lahore as an element of uncertainity and fear prevailed in Pakistan following the assassination of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairperson and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto at Rawalpindi yesterday.

" Public property is being damaged, vehicles are being torched, chaos prevails in Lahore and oter cities and towns of Pakistan", Amed Usman a Pakistani national who came abroad the Lahore-Delhi bus today said at the checkpost while showing his passport to Immigration officials here.

The passengers who came on board the bus said that as soon as word of Ms Bhutto's death spread, PPP supporters came out on the streets of Lahore damaging public property and damaging buses." Shop keepers immediately shut down business and went home yesterday evening", Mrs Nareen Bhatt who came alongwith her grand daughter said when asked about the situation in Lahore, Pakistan's largest city.

According to the passengers, Lahore wore a deserted look this morning when the Delhi-bounded commenced its journey. " Morning walkers were not seen in the public parks in Lahore", Mrs Bhatt said while shaking her head and refering to the tragic incident.

" Just imagine the kids without their mother", she said while refering to the children of the assassinated PPP leader. In fact all the Pakistani nationals who were on board the bus condemned the incident and said that there was no place for violence in Islam.

Anjum Salauddin and Mohammed Riaz said that it was a political assassination and was carried out by Ms Bhutto's political opponents and the fundamentalist forces. " They could not digest the fact that Ms Bhutto and here PPP party was going to win the elections", the two stated.

Abid Zia, a truck driver from Lahore was more forceful in his condemnation and held President Pervez Musharraf responsible for the incident. However there were others on the bus who did not agree with this viewpoint and put the blame on terrorist groups.

" We hope that when we return to Pakistan, things will come back to normal", another Pakistani national said.

Regarding the ongoing peace process with India, Mohammed Riaz said that it would continue irrespective of who rules Pakistan.

The Pakistani flag flew at half mast on the other side of the checkpost as a mark of respected to the departed PPP chairperson.

UNI

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