BAHAWALPUR: Perturbed over delay in dispensing justice in Benazir Bhutto’s murder case, a Pakistan Peoples Party worker committed suicide on the former prime minister’s fourth death anniversary.
Riaz, 60, was a resident of Gilani Colony of Uch Sharif, a sub-district of Bahawalpur, and had been a member of the PPP since the party was formed by Benazir’s father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
“He had been weeping in frustration for the past two days and refused to open his shop,” Riaz’s brother Sajjad said. “In the morning, his door was found locked from inside.”
Eventually, family members broke the door down and found him hanging from the ceiling fan in his room.
Riaz, known to be a staunch PPP supporter, had decorated his room with pictures and posters of the Bhutto family, particularly Benazir. According to his friends, Riaz had declared Benazir as his spiritual mother and blamed the government for not doing anything to arrest her assassins.
“Since Benazir’s death, he went to the mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Bux every year,” said Ameer Baksh, a resident of the area.
When Benazir died, said another friend, Riaz refused to talk to anybody for 10 to 15 days and remained in his room, mourning her assassination.
“He used to say that, to pay tribute to Benazir, he will do something that will make everyone remember him forever,” Javed, Riaz’s other brother, told The Express Tribune.
Riaz’s body has been sent to a rural health centre in Uch Sharif for an autopsy. ASI Rana Khalid Mehmood confirmed that the man had killed himself and there was no evidence suggesting otherwise.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2011.