Larkana (Sindh): Pakistan's former First Lady Nusrat Bhutto was on Monday buried in the Bhutto family mausoleum here in Sindh province as the government declared a public holiday and flags flew at half-mast to mourn the death of the leader, best remembered as a champion of democracy.

Following funeral prayers held at Naudero House, the Bhuttos' ancestral home, Nusrat's body was taken to the mausoleum at Garhi Khuda Baksh in the family's traditional stronghold of Larkana.

The body was lowered into the grave by several ministers and Nusrat's grandson, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the nominal chief of the Pakistan People's Party amidst moving scenes.

82-year-old Nusrat, the widow of former President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the mother of assassinated premier Benazir Bhutto, was laid to rest near the grave of her husband, who was hanged in 1979 during the regime of military ruler Zia-ul-Haq.

The 'namaz-e-janaza' at Naudero House was attended by President Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, federal ministers, senior leaders of several political parties and hundreds of PPP workers.

People were kept away from the funeral prayers and the burial for security reasons, and hundreds of security personnel were deployed in the area.

Nusrat died in Dubai on Sunday after a protracted illness at the age of 82.

Her body – accompanied by her daughter Sanam Bhutto, her son-in-law, President Asif Ali Zardari, and his children – was flown to Pakistan in a special aircraft this afternoon.

Government offices, markets, schools and businesses remained closed across the country as a mark of respect to Nusrat and Prime Minister Gilani declared a 10-day period of national mourning.

Agencies