Pakistanis lap up all things 'Benazir' | world | Hindustan Times
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Pakistanis lap up all things 'Benazir'

After Dec 27, 2007, the day Benazir Bhutto was killed, her name has catapulted to brand status with companies calling potato chips and sweets Benazir while people naming their kids after her.

world Updated: Jan 24, 2008 13:11 IST

The name "Benazir" used to be a rare one in Pakistan. But that was until December 27, 2007, the day former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was killed. Today it seems to have been catapulted to brand status.

Some companies have named their edible products like potato chips and sweets after Benazir while people are also naming their children after her.

"Since Benazir's death, 28 children have been born in my ward and out of them six girls and two boys were named Benazir," a nurse at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences told IANS.

Benazir is the Urdu word for incomparable or so excellent as to have no equal. And after the two-time prime minister's assassination, it has become a household name.

CDs, DVDs and photographs are selling in the name of Benazir.

Workers of her Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), who used to carry party founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's portraits, have replaced them with pictures of his daughter Benazir.

Shops are stocking up on Benazir's photographs and portraits.

"I never sold Benazir portraits earlier. There was demand for only Zulfikar Bhutto's portraits but now all are asking for her pictures, especially one in which she is praying," said Wajid, a wholesale portrait seller.

While coming out of the plane on her return to Pakistan after eight years of exile in October last year, Benazir lifted her hands up in prayer and tears rolled down from her eyes. This image, captured by many photographers, has become her most popular picture.

CDs with Benazir's speeches at six different locations, all delivered after her return to Pakistan from exile, were put on sale three days after her death.

"I am selling Benazir's CDs much more than any others of songs, movies or whatever," Anjum, a CD seller in Islamabad, told IANS.

"I never thought that I'll get such a big response," said Jay Ramdas, CEO of Kings Video.

Ramdas said his company had released several CDs, including those on Osama bin Laden and the Lal Masjid, but the one on Benazir had become the most popular.

"Kal bhi Bhutto zinda tha, aaj bhi Bhutto zinda hai (Bhutto was alive yesterday and Bhutto is alive today)," Benazir sang these words to a popular national tune with hundreds of thousands people joining her in the chorus minutes before she was killed.

The words ring true today - in so many things, big and small.