Benazir portraits fly in the sky in Varanasi

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Varanasi, Jan 14: Several ardent fans of former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto in Varanasi have paid their heartfelt tributes to the assassinated leader on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and Lohiri festivals by kites.

Shocked and aggrieved over Benazir"s killing, these kite makers and fliers found the two major Hindu festivals celebrated on Sunday and Monday, as the perfect occasion to express their love for Benazir, who was a leader of masses beyond geographical confines. Varanasi"s Dal Mandi market and its neighbourhood in the holy city were flooded with kites. But the most sought after kites were the ones bearing a picture of Benazir Bhutto on them.

"The demand of the kites that have a picture of Benazir on them is high in the market this year because of the incident that has happened to her in Pakistan. So the people are demanding these kites more to pay tribute to the slain Pak leader," said Chand, one of the shopkeepers.

Though there are a variety of kites right from Britain to China available in the market, the kites with Benazir"s picture on them were sold like hotcakes.

"Benazir died recently and we are paying our tribute to her in this fashion through kites," said Saud Ahmad, one of the local kite-flyers.

The festivals of Lohri in Haryana and Punjab, Uttarayan in the west, Makar Sankranti in North India and Pongal in South India when people of all the faiths celebrate together. But this was the first occasion when the kite-flyers used the festive occasion to pay tribute to a political leader from Pakistan.

ANI

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