Benazir Bhutto was born in Karachi, Pakistan. She belongs to a prominent political family. Her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is the ninth Prime Minister of Pakistan and the fourth President of Pakistan.
date of birth June 21, 1953 ==== Date of Death December 27, 2007
After completing her early education in Pakistan, at the age of 16, Benazir Bhutto left her homeland for pursuing her higher education, she attended Radcliffe College and then enrolled at Harvard University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in comparative government. Then she studied at England’s Oxford University, completing her degree in International Law and Diplomacy.
After that, she returned to Pakistan, where her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, had been elected Prime Minister, but days after her arrival, the military seized power and her father was imprisoned. In 1979 he was hanged by the military government of General Zia Ul Haq.
Benazir Bhutto herself was also arrested many times over the following years and was detained for three years before being permitted to leave the country in 1984. She moved to London along with her brothers, she worked as a joint leader of PPP in exile. She founded an underground organization to resist the military dictatorship. When her brother Shahnawaz died in 1985, she traveled to Pakistan for his burial and was again arrested for participating in anti-government rallies. She launched a nationwide campaign for open elections.
Her Political Achievements:
She was elected co-chairwoman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), along with her mother. After that She got married to Asif Ali Zardari, in Karachi on December 18, 1987. After her long struggle, free elections were finally held in 1988. She herself became Prime Minister. At age of 35, she was one of the youngest chief executives in the world, and the first-ever female prime minister of a Muslim nation on December 1, 1988.
Benazir Bhutto was elected prime minister barely three months after giving birth to her first child. She was defeated in the 1990 election and found herself in court defending herself against several charges of misconduct while in office. Benazir Bhutto continued to be a prominent focus of opposition discontent and won a further election in 1993. She initiated an anti-corruption campaign.
Her Political Struggle and Achievements:
Benazir Bhutto, the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan, is presented with the Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Dr. David Herbert Donald at the 2000 Achievement Summit in London.
While in self-imposed exile in Britain and Dubai, she was convicted in 1999 of corruption and sentenced to three years in prison. She continued to direct her party from abroad, being re-affirmed as PPP leader in 2002.
Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007, after President Musharraf granted her amnesty on all corruption charges, opening the way for her return as well as a possible power-sharing agreement.
Tragically, Benazir Bhutto’s homecoming rally after eight years in exile was hit by a suicide attack, which killed 136 people. She only survived after ducking down at the moment of impact behind her armored vehicle.
Benazir Bhutto was killed when an assassin fired shots and then blew himself up after an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007. The attack also killed 28 others and wounded at least another 100. The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto addressed a rally of thousands of supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, eight miles south of Islamabad. She died after hitting her head on part of her vehicle’s sunroof—not because of bullets or shrapnel, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Interior Ministry said.
Hundreds of thousands of mourners paid last respects to former Pakistani Prime Minister Bhutto on December 28, 2007, as she was buried at her family’s mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, the southern province of Sindh. She was buried alongside her father Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan’s first popularly elected prime minister who was executed by hanging. Benazir Bhutto’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari, her three children, and her sister, Sanam, attended the burial.
Who’s to blame?
“The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy,” President George W. Bush said from his ranch near Crawford, “Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice.”
Benazir Bhutto left a deeply polarizing legacy. Her career has been celebrated as a triumph for women in the Muslim world and for the global fight against Islamic extremism. At the same time, she has been accused of corruption and bad governance. Her efforts and struggle to champion democracy remain a legacy that is deeply respected among her rivals. Several universities and public buildings in Pakistan bear Benazir Bhutto’s name, while her career influenced several young activists.
Now, Benazir Bhutto is seen as a symbol of women’s empowerment, and today, parties from across Pakistan’s political spectrum, allow women to be a part of their organizations and fully participate in elections. Her efforts to promote democracy remain a legacy forever.
May God Bless her soul in rest and peace. Inshallah! Alia Nawaz
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Some contents of this article taken from The Biography.com
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