Zia Is Buried Before a Muted and Prayerful Throng - NYTimes.com
Beneath the four white marble minarets of a mosque that looms over this capital, President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq was buried today in a military funeral attended by at least 100,000 Pakistanis.
Diplomats from more than 70 nations, including 30 heads of state,
stood in withering heat as the casket was lowered to the sounds of a 21-gun salute that echoed over the valley city. President Zia and 38 others were killed on Wednesday when a Pakistani military plane exploded.
A huge, surging throng of Pakistanis packed roads leading to the burial site, the Faisal Mosque at the foot of the Margalla hills. Thousands more were held back by stick-wielding police at the mosque, a gift from Saudi Arabia that opened only two months ago.
As the gun carriage carrying the flower-bedecked casket left the President's official residence and rolled slowly along the five-mile route to the mosque, the waiting crowds groaned, chanted prayers, wept and shouted, ''Pakistan! Pakistan!'' A Mood of Ambivalence..
I spend most prt of the day in front of the TV that day when General Zia's Funeral was being Broadcasted Live from Islamabad.
One of his Favourit TV anchor / News reader Azhar Lodhi was doing commentery on loud apeakers at the premesis of his burial,and it was an emotional commentary..Eventually he had to be removed from the mic as he was crying too hard for the comfort of the crowd.
More than 30 heads of state from Around the world were there,mostly from Muslim countries and this has never happened before or since for any other Pakistani,not even for the world famous Benazir Bhutto..Her Funeral wasnt attended by any foreign deligate,but general zia's funeral was attended by the whole world.
I remember that the largest foreign Deligation at his funeral was from Turkey , almost every Turkish minister including their President and Prime mnister was there at the Funeral,and Turkish Prime minister was crying with greif as if his own brother had died...literally.
I remember scenes of utter mismanagement.Heads of state not receiving any protocol and many just walking on their own unescortyed to Zia's grave,and then back to their seats under a makeshift tent...
Ever wondered why General Zia was so world popular?