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benazir

she is made of steel…truly… she dared to be different, especially when not many had dreamt so, in a country and culture like hers…she is dynamic and out-of-ordinary to reach where she has …

benazir bhutto was born in karachi , pakistan to a prominent political family. probably her family background, their economic wellbeing and modern thoughts also played a role in her shaping up… at age 16 she left her homeland to study at Harvard¹s Radcliffe College. after completing her undergraduate degree at Radcliffe she studied at England ‘s Oxford University , where she was awarded a second degree in 1977.

 young benazir in her early non political days 

later when she returned to pakistan, she and her family were imprisoned and power was seized from her father… in her autobiography “daughter of the east”, she has described those days in a very matter-of factly way… her mother and she were in one cell of the prison and father zulfikar ali bhutto, was in the other… their loyal family help used to visit them often… sometimes the mother and daughter were not allowed to meet father…
one day, the jailor came and hurriedly asked them to meet him, young benazir found out from what they were talking that he was going to be killed the next day… she sent out the message on a small chit of paper outside jail with their friend who came to meet them… next day the news was all over the place… television, newpapers etc etc… but the jail authorities managed to dodge the timing cunningly on “higher orders” and carried out the execution of the prime minister of pakistan, mr zulfikar ali bhutto…

zulfikar.jpg

it is not the subject of this article to comment how he was as a prime minister, but one thing was sure… for pakistan , it was the end of a peaceful normal democracy, people with liberal views, with education outside the country, who had the vision to see beyond fundamentalism and islam, who had quite a few things to offer..became voices unheard of… and in the years to come… the country was destined to witness rule of extremism… where only the language of power was understood and exercised…
probably all this cacophony of events, led benazir to resolve harder and fight more fiercely than ever… she once said, “ I had faith in myself. I had always felt that I could become prime minister if I wanted.”.. confidence personified.. and confidence was all she had to start with…what followed was an eventful journey…

ben_2.jpg

she was arrested many times over the following years, and was detained for three years before being permitted to leave the country in 1984. she settled in london , but along with her two brothers, she founded an underground organization to resist the military dictatorship.
when her brother died in 1985, she returned to pakistan for his burial, and was again arrested for participating in anti-government rallies…it was really painful to stay away from kids, whom she had left with her sister in london, and she said that often she could visualize in her dreams, her son looking longingly at her as she left him behind to come to pakistan…
anti-Zia ( Zia Ul Haq, the military dictator who executed her father and resumed power) demonstrations had resumed in 1986, the public response to her return was tumultuous, and she publicly called for the resignation of Zia…

she was elected co-chairwoman of the pakistan people¹s party (PPP) along with her mother, and when free elections were finally held in 1988, she herself became prime minister. at 35, she was one of the youngest chief executives in the world, and the first woman to serve as prime minister in an islamic country… her command over speech, passion towards her people and dynamic and fearless decisions and the conviction to stand by them, had found numerous supporters for her in the country…

ben_4.jpg

she faced constant opposition from islamic fundamentalist groups… her public campaigns were aimed at.. sometimes they used the pretext that she was carrying a baby (which she managed to keep a secret for long ) and wasn’t fit at this stage to look after the country etc etc..
barely 2 years in office serving her first term and president ghulam ishaq khan dismissed bhutto from office. however undeterred by these difficulties, she initiated an anti-corruption campaign, and in 1993 was re-elected as prime minister. while in office, she brought electricity to the countryside and built schools all over the country. she made hunger, housing and health care her top priorities, and looked forward to continuing to modernize pakistan .
now amidst facing continuous opposition, her brother mir murtaza, who had been estranged from benazir since their father’s death, returned from abroad and leveled charges of corruption at benazir’s husband, asif ali zardari. mir murtaza died when his bodyguard became involved in a gunfight with police in karachi .
the pakistani public was shocked by this turn of events and PPP supporters were divided over the charges against zardari.  in 1996 president leghari of pakistan dismissed bhutto from office, alleging mismanagement, and dissolved the national assembly. a bhutto re-election bid failed in 1997, and the next elected government was overthrown by the military. her husband was imprisoned, and once again benazir was forced to leave her homeland. 
today, benazir bhutto lives with her children in london , where she continues to advocate the restoration of democracy in pakistan . In an interview with simi garewal, on her talk show, she said that its been quite a tumultuous eventful and painful life for her so far… her kids hadn’t met their father for years as he was in jail… if only she could ask god for something, it was peace…
today as another military dictator in pakistan, president pervez musharraf is caught at his own game… due to the turn of events at an international level, and an ever alert media… he is seeking her support to get democracy back to pakistan…what follows is for us to wait n watch…. 

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8 Comments»

  Shimu Jahan wrote @

It is true that Benazir Bhutto was really a strong woman. Being a politician of Pakistan she had been suffered a lot. She had a vision for her country and was ready to pay any prices for that and she proved that in 27th of December last year . She sacrificed her life for the restoration fo democracy. But it is quite unfourtunate that she had been criticised for several times. It is because most of the people like to believe the worst things about somebody but never try to find out the truth. I think this is what happened with Ms. Bhutto. I read her autobiography, “Daughter of the East” and found it was well writted and narrated nicely, full of facts and not boring at all. It really helps me to understand her in a more positive manner. Since she is not alive I hope that the supporters and Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairperson of her party will try at the level best to fulfill her (Benazir Bhutto) dreams.

  Daphne Barak wrote @

Dear your article correctly describes the hardship this brave woman faced. But she was not a lady of steel, not as a person. She was warm loving and full of life.

I really miss her so much. By the way the first photo inset of bibi is not from her student days. It’s from around 1999-2000 if my memory serves me right. Please correct the caption.

  RAHUL DESWAL wrote @

she was hot sexy beautiful women of her times.
she may affairs have………….v should not bother.

  RAHUL DESWAL,chandigarh wrote @

bhutto have her personal desires…..
she is human and have desires…………….

  shahid wrote @

is it real pic??

  jalalani wrote @

sir ye pic real nahi

  Farzana wrote @

The photo of Benazir Bhutto in miniskirt is not from her earlier “non-political” days, but from the late 90’s when she went into exile abroad.

  Julia wrote @

The miniskirt wearing Benazir pic is from the year 2000 or 2001. It isn’t from her student days. Please correct the pic details.


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