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Pakistan World News / Pakistan Telecom News
WORLD NEWS Chicagos Pakistani Community Mourns Bhutto

Date: 12/28/2007 9:23:02 PM

Some members of Chicagos Pakistani community said they havent stopped crying since they heard news of Benazir Bhuttos assassination, and others said they dread whats now in store for their homeland.

Syed Raza said he was driving his taxi when he heard on the morning news that the opposition leader had been gunned down. Within an hour, he stood on a corner in the heart of Chicagos main Pakistani neighborhood holding a small picture of Bhutto. Raza said Bhutto was the main hope not only for those in Pakistan but for Pakistanis living in the United States. And he said he fears Pakistan will now descend into chaos. My wife just called me from back home, he said. Shooting, fighting, burning cars. Its a big chaos, and Im worried about them.

Another PakistaniAmerican, Rana Javed, said hes in a state of shock and disbelief. He met Bhutto on one of her several trips to Chicago in recent years.

Bhutto died Thursday when an attacker shot her and then blew himself up as she left a political rally in Rawalpindi, a city near the capital where Pakistans army has its headquarters. It was the second suicide attack against her since her tumultuous homecoming from an eightyear exile in October.

Bhutto, a former prime minister, was struck down amid scenes of blood and chaos as an unknown gunman opened fire and, according to witnesses and police, blew himself up, killing 20 other people.

NBC5s Alex Perez reported there were approximately 150,000 Pakistanis living in the Chicago area, and while all seemed saddened by Bhuttos assassination, opinions were mixed on her leadership.

She was a great leader, and we dont have a strong leader right now, said Muntaz Rizvi.

Pakistans economy was good when she became prime minister, said Mahmood Yaqob. She destroyed the economy.

Many Pakistani women said they viewed Bhutto as a pioneer in the fight for womens rights.

My husband, my daughters, everybody, was sad at this news, said Amir Khatoon.

Local Pakistani community leaders, along with civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, were scheduled to discuss Bhuttos death Thursday night, and a vigil was scheduled for Monday night.

Chicagos Pakistan Times printed a special edition of the paper featuring Bhutto on the cover, Perez reported. The papers editor said many Pakistanis were focused on events in Pakistan.

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