Benazir Bhutto was the 11th and 13th Pakistani Prime minister who was the only woman to lead a Muslim mass country. For almost 27 years, she was the chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party. Born in a political and educated family, Benazir always expected to be a politician of immense prominence. Due to her struggle for the cause of democracy, she was jailed by Zai Ul Haq in Adyala Jail and Sindh. She was also the first woman who opened the doors for women in politics. This article has all the information about Bhutto, including Benazir Bhutto Biography.
|In Urdu:||بینظیر بھٹو|
|Alma Mater:||Oxford University|
|Date:||21st June 1953|
|Spouse:||Asif Ali Zardari|
|Children:||Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Bakhtawar Bhutto and Aseefa Bhutto|
|Parents:||Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Nusrat Bhutto|
|Siblings :||Sanam Bhutto, Murtaza Bhutto and Shah Nawaz Bhutto|
|Relatives:||Bhutto family & Zardari family|
|Date:||27 December 2007|
|Rest Place:||Rawalpindi, Pakistan|
|Political Party:||Pakistan Peoples Party|
|Serve As:||Prime Minister of Pakistan|
|Time Period :||19 October 1993 – 5 November 1996|
|Role:||Prime Minister of Pakistan|
|Dates:||19 October 1993 – 5 November 1996|
|Prime Minister:||Benazir Bhutto|
|Preceded By:||Moeenuddin Ahmad Qureshi|
|Succeeded By:||Malik Meraj Khalid|
|Political Party:||Pakistan Peoples Party|
Benazir Bhutto Biography
- During her political life, Benazir faced imprisonment, difficulties, and hardship. After serving as the President of Oxford Union, when she returned to Pakistan, she was house arrested by Zia to avoid any protest against his father’s imprisonment and the military takeover. In 1984, she deported to Britain, but she returned just after two years. The death of Zia ul Haq created a political vacuum. Benazir was waiting for a moment like this to cash it.
- In 1988, she became the first-ever women Prime Minister of a Muslim country. Ghulam Ishaq who was the president that time dismissed her government mainly because of the corruption charges and nepotism. Her next government in 1993 also rejected due to corruption charges. Though she served as the leader of opposition in the National Assembly, she was often in exile to protect herself from the corruption charges in Dubai.
- In 2007, Benazir assassinated in Rawalpindi after a rally. She is mainly known for her success in a society that is entirely male-dominant.
Benazir Bhutto Family
Benazir was born in an aristocratic family. Her father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who remained an important figure of politics. Benazir’s mother, Begum Nusrat Ispahani, was Iranian. She was Shia and later became Sunni after marriage. Benazir was the eldest of all the children. They were two sisters; Benazir and Sanam Bhutto and two brothers, Murtaza and Shah Nawaz Bhutto. Benazir married Asif Ali Zardari in 1987. The couple had three children. They are Bilawal Bhutto, the current chairman of PPP, Asifa Bhutto, and Bakhtawar Bhutto.
Education of Bhutto
- Benazir completed her early education in Pakistan. She did her schooling from Karachi, Convent of Jesus and Mary Karachi, and Mary and jesus Convent Murree. She later visited abroad for her higher studies and attended Radcliffe College in United Stated from 1969 to 1973. She was only 16, which was an early age for admission. It was her father’s links that made her admission possible.
- In America, she participated in the co-curriculum activities and became the campus tour guide. She also campaigned against the Vietnam War. She enrolled at Harvard University and got a bachelor of arts degree in Comparative Government. From 1973 to 1977, she studied at Oxford University. Her subjects in her graduate degree were Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and she studied International Law and Diplomacy later at the postgraduate level. At Oxford, she was the president of Oxford Union debating society. Benazir was the first to Asian to hold this post.
Benazir date of Birth
She was born on 21 June 1953 in Karachi, Sindh. She lived there till her last breathe.
Benazir was very young when her father served on key government posts. She was 5 when her father appointed the Minister of Energy and 9 when he appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Her father had chosen politics as her career; therefore, he would often expose her to foreign diplomats, including Hennery Kissinger and Zhou Enlai. She also accompanied her father in the United Nations Security Council meeting and India-Pak Summit in India, where she met with Indra Gandhi. Later she met with Gaddafi, King Faisal, and Anwar Sadat.
- After the military takeover by Zia, Benazir and her mother were house arrested repeatedly. She often visited her father, who was in jail, and assisted the legal procedure. She, along with her mother, was jailed for 6 months after the death of Zulfiqar and then house arrested for further 6 months. They were finally free in 1980. During the regime of Zia, she started the movement to restore democracy and other democratic parties.
- During this time, she repeatedly imprisoned and house arrested for two years and faced health problems. After severe international pressure, she was released in 1984 and remained in self-exile. She often visited the US and spoke to the European Parliament. In 1985, martial law lifted, and she returned home. Millions of people came to see her. Soon he mobilized the people against the military regime of Zia that led to her imprisonment again.
In 1987, she married Asif Ali Zardari. Her marriage was attended by 200000 people that turned the wedding into a political rally. Soon after few months, Zia called for the elections. It reported that the date chosen as Benazir expected to be pregnant and unable to campaign for the election. When suddenly Zia died, Benazir called it an act of God. In the election, she faced difficulties from the establishment and religious parties, calling it unIslamic for her to rule a country.
First Female Prime Minister
- Despite the challenges, she secured 93 seats out of 205 seats. PPP formed a coalition with MQM and made the government in 1988. She became the first female prime minister of the Muslim majority country and the youngest prime minister of the world. Many members of her government were having little experience and took the socialist party into a capitalist direction. Despite her victory in the election, she did not have good relations with the establishment.
- Due to the economic problems, she could not fulfill her promises that she had made in her election campaign. The political instability continued after her victory as Nawaz Sharif was the chief minister of Punjab; he left no stone unturned to make problems for the government. Similarly, Benazir accused him of rigging the election.
- In 1990, her government was dismissed by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan due to the corruption charges that later reported to be politically driven. The dismissal of the government was mainly due to the poor relation between Benazir and the establishment. Soon her husband was jailed for attaching a bomb to the leg of a businessman and forced him to withdraw money from the bank.
- In the election, she only got 45 seats in and became the opposition leader. Nawaz Sharif, backed by the establishment, made the government. She opposed almost all of the government’s policies, including the industrialization that revolved around Punjab only.
1993 General Elections
- In the 1993 election, PPP got 86 seats and formed a weaker government than her previous government. During this time, she removed her mother from leading the party and declared herself the sole chair for life. She also elected Farooq Laghari as the president of the country who was a PPP member. Soon her government was accused of corruption again. Her husband bought a house in Surrey, which he did not declare.
- The economic situation of the country was the same as her previous government. She could not implement her social programs as 70% of the revenue went on paying off the debts. During her term, the economic situation deteriorated rapidly. In Sindh, the ethnic violence started again. She asked her interior minister Naseer Ullah Babar to start an operation named operation Blue Fox. At the end of the operation, 3000 people killed while thousands suffered human rights violations.
Murder of Murtaza Bhutto
- She also detained her brother Murtaza Bhutto who demanded intraparty election that would have resulted in his victory. In 1996, he killed by police, and Benazir soon accused of his murder. When she visited to attend his funeral, her car pelted with stones. Her mother also accused her of his son’s murder. In 1995, an assassination attempt made and her security was taken in control by the army.
- Once again, due to the corruption charges, Zardari’s involvement in the government, and the murder of her brother, her government was dismissed. From 1996 to 1999, she remained the opposition leader for the second time. In 1999, she was convicted in absentia and disqualified her from the public office. She was in London and, due to the judgment, did not return to Pakistan and settled in Dubai.
- She faced several cases of corruption and misuse of public office. In 2006, her assets frozen, but after the reconciliation, she returned to Pakistan after many years of self-exile.
Benazir Bhutto Death
- After Benazir arrived from Dubai, she was attacked in 2007 in Karachi by a suicide attack that killed more than a hundred people. In her rally in Rawalpindi, she was after her speech. Moving back from the rally, she stood in her car escape hatch to wave hands to the crowd. A man with the gunshot injured her severely. She was taken to the nearby hospital but could not survive. She was buried next to her father in Gari Khuda Bakhsh.
- It claimed that the Pakistani Taliban masterminded the attack. Al-Qaida took the responsibility of the attack and announced that a precious asset of America terminated. In her political will, she had designated her son Bilawal as her political heir and her husband as the custodian until the completion of Bilawal’s education.
Benazir Bhutto Books
She has written several books. They include
- Meri Aapbeeti
- Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and West
- Daughter of the East
- Pakistan: The gathering storm
- Whither Pakistan: Dictatorship or Democracy
Social Media Handles
Her social media accounts include