Indian community joins Pakistanis in mourning

M.a. Qudoos (Abu Dhabi Deputy Bureau Chief)
Filed on December 28, 2007

DUBAI — The Indian community in the UAE has joined the Pakistanis in mourning the death of Pakistan People's Party Chairperson Benazir Bhutto.

As a mark of respect, one-minute silence was observed during two Indian community programmes held on Thursday evening and yesterday morning.

Thursday's event was organised by the Consulate-General of India in Dubai at Indian High School's Shaikh Rashid Auditorium to mark the country's 60 years of Independence.

Indian Consul-General Venu Rajamony paid tributes to the departed soul.

Rajamony later told Khaleej Times, "This is a shocking incident that should strengthen the resolve of all of us to fight terrorism.

“This is even more tragic for us in Dubai since Benazir had lived here for eight years and her children are still living here. My prayers are for all members of her family, friends, and the people of Pakistan. I pray that they may have the strength to tide over this difficult period."

Also yesterday morning, a one-minute silence was observed during a devotional songs session at the Indian Consulate attended by more than 800 people, including school children and their parents.

Speaking on the occasion, Ram Buxani, Executive Vice-Chairman of ITL Group and Founder Chairman of the erstwhile Overseas Indian Economic Forum, said, "Bhagwad Gita stands for peace. Few hours have passed after the assassination of former prime minister of Pakistan. Violent protests are taking place in Pakistan and we pray that peace is restored in that country."

Buxani also told Khaleej Times, "The feeling about the passing away of the great leader is universal. This is not the loss of one community only. She is a martyr for the cause of democracy for which the nation is fighting."

Another senior Indian community member, Gangu Batra, CEO of Jashanmal Group, said, "It is a very great tragedy not only for Pakistan but for the whole world. After the military rule, a step taken for democracy has resulted in disaster. It is not a disaster for Benazir Bhutto's family but for all freedom-loving people."

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