Bhutto memorial held in Tampa
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12/31/07 Doris Norrito
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

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Senator Ronda Storms led a memorial vigil for former Pakistan Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto last Friday in Tampa.

As news of Bhutto’s assassination last Thursday spread throughout the country, anger and revenge led to riots throughout Pakistan. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf blamed Islamic militants: associates of Bhutto accused Musharraf of playing a role by not giving Bhutto adequate protection.

Hundreds of thousands attended Bhutto’s funeral in Pakistan, while a small group gathered at the Joe Chillura Courthouse Square for a candlelight vigil of remembrance and prayer. Senator Ronda Storms spoke of the hope Bhutto had for her country.

Millions of supporters saw Bhutto as a source of inspiration. Now, Pakistan’s political future is unclear. The 54-year-old mother of three, came from a family rooted in politics and tragedy. Her democratically elected father was executed by the military regime in 1979. One brother was poisoned and another shot.

She was twice elected prime minister but was forced from power in 1996. Encouraged by the United States, she returned to Pakistan last October and narrowly escaped a suicide bombing. She spoke out against bloodshed but knew the odds and knew that her political service meant risk and sacrifice, and she was prepared.

In her will, Bhutto asked that her son take over leadership of her party.

Photo credit: Doris Noritto/WMNF

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