Islamabad - Pakistan People’s Party activists held a candlelight vigil here yesterday in memory of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who had been assassinated in 2007.

The participants vowed to continue struggle for a purely democratic Pakistan where rights of all communities were protected. They demanded the arrest of the slain leader’s killers and sought exemplary punishment for them. The event – held at D-Chowk - was organised by the PPP Cultural Wing.

Earlier, the death anniversary of the late leader was observed in Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto on December 27. A rally was also organised on the occasion and addressed by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Benazir Bhutto served two inconsecutive terms as Prime Minister in 1988–90 and then 1993–96. She was the eldest daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a former Prime Minister himself who founded the centre-left PPP. She was the first woman to become head of state of any Muslim nation. She also remains Pakistan’s only female Prime Minister.

In 1982, three years after her father’s execution, 29-year-old Benazir Bhutto became the co-chairperson of the PPP, making her the first woman in Pakistan to head a major political party. She went into exile in Dubai in 1999 and nine years later, in 2007, she returned to Pakistan.

The former premier was assassinated in a bombing on December 27, 2007, after leaving PPP’s last rally in Rawalpindi, two weeks before the scheduled 2008 general election in which she was the leading candidate. Her party subsequently won the elections on a wave of sympathy generated by her assassination.