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Pakistan declares 10-day mourning for Nusrat Bhutto

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad - Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has announced a 10-day national mourning on the demise of Pakistan's former First Lady Nusrat Bhutto who died in a Dubai hospital Sunday afternoon after protracted illness. She was 82.

Pakistan's former First Lady Nusrat Bhutto

Nusrat Bhutto, the mother-in-law of President Asif Ali Zardari, was leader of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and wife of late prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and mother of slain Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

The Prime Minister also announced public holiday on Monday and cancelled all his engagements. The national flag would fly half-mast.

Begum Nusrat Bhutto was born on September 21, 1929.

A government statement said that arrangements were being made to bring her body to the town of Ghari Khuda Bux in southern Sindh province for burial.

Nusrat Bhutto was born on March 23, 1929, in Esfahan, Iran. She comes from the wealthy Hariri Esfahani family of Iran. She married Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1951.

Nusrat Bhutto had also suffered from cancer and was based in Dubai.

President Asif Ali Zardari, on getting the tragic news, arrived in Dubai from Jordan where he had gone to attend the World Economic Forum meeting.

Her only surviving child Sanam Bhutto and grandchildren Bilawal, Bakhtawar and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, presently in the UK, are expected to arrive in Dubai later to accompany the body on its long journey to its final resting place, he said.

In her tragic and eventful life, she witnessed and endured the assassination of her husband and three children but refused to compromise with dictatorship, Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.

Nusrat Bhutto fought against military dictatorship, he said.

Begum Nusrat Bhutto waged almost a decade long political struggle for revival of democracy, restoration of Constitution and upholding of fundamental rights of Pakistani people in the face of brutal dictatorship.

Nusrat Ispahani was an Iranian from Kurdistan Province, by heritage and daughter of a wealthy Iranian businessman who settled in Karachi, then British India before partition.

As First Lady from 1973-77, Nusrat Bhutto functioned as a political leader and accompanied her husband on a number of overseas visits.

She was twice elected member of the National Assembly, remained a senior minister and also a constant source of inspiration for her daughter former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, masses and the party workers especially.

Related Article: Nusrat Bhutto's death - end of an era - Dawn

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