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Pakistan Governor Taseer laid to rest with full state honours

Last updated on: January 5, 2011 20:06 IST

Pakistan Governor Taseer laid to rest with full state honours

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Pakistani investigators on Wednesday probed the possibility of a larger conspiracy behind the killing of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer by his bodyguard as they arrested 23 people.

Three days of mourning have been declared in Pakistan following Taseer's assassination.

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Image: A military serviceman loads the casket containing the body of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer (inset) onto a helicopter after his funeral prayers at the Governor's House in Lahore
Photographs: Mohsin Raza/Reuters
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Pakistan Governor Taseer laid to rest with full state honours

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In Lahore, 66-year-old Taseer was laid to rest with full state honours at the Cavalry Ground graveyard, with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and other top leaders paying homage.

President Asif Ali Zardari did not attend the funeral due to security reasons, Pakistan People's Party leaders said.

 


Image: Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani takes part in funeral prayers for Taseer
Photographs: Mohsin Raza/Reuters
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Pakistan Governor Taseer laid to rest with full state honours

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The funeral prayer for Taseer at the governor's house in Lahore, scheduled for 1 pm local time, was delayed by almost an hour as several clerics reportedly refused to lead it following a call by an influential Islamic body.

Afzal Chishti, a leader of the ulema (clerics) wing of the ruling PPP, led the namaz-e-janaza or funeral prayer
.

Image: Supporters wave at a helicopter carrying Taseer's body
Photographs: Mohsin Raza/Reuters
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Pakistan Governor Taseer laid to rest with full state honours

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The imam of Lahore's Shahi Masjid and the cleric of the mosque at governor's house refused to lead the prayer, sources said. The Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat Pakistan, a grouping of scholars, had on Tuesday asked clerics not to lead Taseer's funeral prayer.

Among those present at the funeral prayer were Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, leaders of other political parties and PPP workers.

Leaders of the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which is ruling the province of Punjab, and religious parties were conspicuous by their absence at the funeral.

Image: Former Afghan President and chief of a new peace council Burhanuddin Rabbani prays with his delegation for Taseer
Photographs: Faisal Mahmood/Reuters
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Pakistan Governor Taseer laid to rest with full state honours

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Thousands of angry PPP workers, who had gathered at the governor's house, shouted slogans against religious parties and the PML-N. Among the slogans were 'Qatil Qatil, Nawaz Qatil, Shahbaz Qatil, Sanaullah Qatil' -- a reference to senior PML-N leaders Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif and Rana Sanaullah -- and 'Taliban ka jo yaar hai, gaddar hai.'

Many PPP workers, especially women, broke down and wept.


 


Image: Supporters grieve during funeral prayers for Taseer
Photographs: Mohsin Raza/Reuters
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