‘THE average, common individual can’t get anything, there is no flour, no diesel, there are only a few hours of electricity – the whole situation is catastrophic.’
That was what one lawyer said yesterday, as over 200 people demonstrated outside the Pakistan embassy in London, where they were demanding an independent, United Nations-led inquiry into the assassination of Pakistan People’s Party leader Benazir Bhutto.
Tariq Mahmood said he had just returned from Pakistan, where there were demonstrations and rallies taking place at the birthplace of Benazir Bhutto, where her body has been laid to rest.
He added: ‘People are just saddened and asking why has she been killed. People are demanding proper democracy be restored.’
Ibrar Mir, from the People’s Youth Organisation, said: ‘This is a demonstration regarding what the PPP is thinking, that the hidden hands should be revealed to the public and any inquiry into Benazir Bhutto’s assassination should be conducted through the UN.
‘What PPP is asking is that the UN should be leading the inquiry, rather than assisting Pakistan security.
‘The report of the post-mortem was leaked out yesterday,’ he continued. ‘One of our senators has revealed the report at a press conference.’
He said the report came from the ‘Punjab medical board’, and was conducted on the same day that Benazir Bhutto was pronounced dead at Rawalpindi General Hospital.
But he said that the scene of her brutal killing had been ‘washed’ about half an hour after she was taken to hospital.
Speaking at the protest, Tahir Rahman said that Pakistan was ‘in shackles’ and that there were chronic power cuts, food and petrol shortages.
‘The economy is coming to a complete standstill,’ he said.
Samina Butt, president of the PPP East London women’s organisation, said: ‘It is such a serious assassination of one of our country’s leaders, one of the most loved figures of our country, who had a good relationship with the rest of the world.
‘She was basically highlighting that we can’t get freedom unless we get democracy, which means freedom of movement, freedom of the Supreme Court to deliver their judgements without fear.
‘We don’t want a suppressed Pakistan. We will fight to the end for democracy.’