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Yorkshire Muslims pray as Bhutto laid to rest
A lot of people whose opinion I respect, Anne Cryer and the Bishop of Rochester spring to mind are condemning the murder of Benazir Bhutto today and paying tribute to her courage.
However there is some consternation locally as to why the Pakistani flag is flying at half mast above Bradford Town Hall.
PRAYERS have been said at mosques across Yorkshire today as former Pakistan leader Benazir Bhutto was laid to rest.
About 1,000 worshippers turned out for prayers to remember Ms Bhutto at Hanfia Mosque in Bradford.
Ms Bhutto had close links to Bradford and had visited the city on a number of occasions. A Pakistani flag was flying at half-mast over the Town Hall and Bishop of Bradford David James, also paid tribute.
A book of condolence has been opened at Leeds Civic Hall's Portland Crescent reception area, and at the Pakistan Consulate offices in Bradford.
Bradford West MP Marsha Singh, who met Miss Bhutto several times, said: "This is a tragedy of huge proportions for Pakistan, for Pakistanis across the world and for democracy. I met her personally in the Houses of Parliament and when she came to Bradford for rallies on several occasions. She was very popular in Bradford and her rallies were always bustling to the seams with people trying to get in.
"She always came across as a very determined person. For a woman to be prime minister of Pakistan is not easy, but she had huge courage and determination. She was a towering figure of a politician. She was very courageous to go back to Pakistan and attend rallies. My thoughts are with her children and with my constituents”.
Mrs Cryer said: "I can't think that President Musharraf will go ahead with election on January 8 after this tragedy. I think it bodes badly for stability in Pakistan and there will be many people in Bradford very upset by what has happened."
She believed Miss Bhutto had the right ideas although she had been anxious whether the twice former premier of Pakistan could stand up to the "wildmen" of north western Pakistan and to Musharraf.
Kris Hopkins, Ian Greenwood and Jeanette Sunderland, the leaders of the three main political parties of Bradford Council, said in a joint statement: "We are shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death of Benazir Bhutto, the leader of the Pakistan People's Party and the former Prime Minister of Pakistan.
"Miss Bhutto had a relationship with Bradford and visited on a number of occasions, and we know many people in the district will be affected by her death. Our condolences go out to her family and the families of the others who died. We will be flying the flag at half mast as a mark of respect."
- A tragedy for the country and for the future of Pakistan and I think many people had a lot of respect for her and what she was trying to accomplist BUT can someone please tell me why there is a Pakistani flag flying at half mast outside the City Hall?
- I hope you are joking about the Pakistani flag at half mast at the City Hall ? Bradford council doing its best to be politically correct again and bending over backwards to please everyone. I really can't believe it.
- This must be a joke.
I cant believe why the council think it right to put a flag up outside city hall We are in the UK not the middle east There don’t think about up setting people of Bradford as long as there politically correct Why other people have been killed in many other country around the world I never seen any other flag at half mask on the city hall
- All the council are doing once again is antagonising the public with their spineless attitude to race relations in this city. . . They have made the flying of the Pakistani flag more of an issue than the death of Benazir Bhutto. Only Bradford council could achieve that.