Benazir Bhutto

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Bhutto, Benazir

(bĕn'əzĭr` bo͞o`tō), 1953–2007, prime minister of Pakistan (1988–90; 1993–96), daughter of Zulfikar Ali BhuttoBhutto, Zulfikar Ali
, 1928–79, Pakistani political leader. Member of a wealthy landowning family, he entered politics as the protégé of General Ayub Khan. Bhutto joined the cabinet in 1958, becoming foreign minister in 1963.
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. Educated at Radcliffe and Oxford, she returned to Pakistan shortly before her father was overthrown by General Zia ul-HaqZia ul-Haq, Mohammad,
1924–88, Pakistani military and political leader. Named general and chief of staff by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1976, he declared martial law in July, 1977, in response to agitations against election fraud.
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 in 1977. Under detention and then in exile, she returned in 1986 to lead the Pakistan People's party (PPP) and to fight military rule. In Nov., 1988, three months after President Zia ul-Haq died in a plane crash, Bhutto's alliance gained a narrow majority in parliamentary elections, and she became prime minister, the first female leader of a Muslim nation. Her government, marked by continuous intrigue and able to accomplish little, was dismissed by President Gulam Ishaq Khan in Aug., 1990. He accused her, her husband, Asif Ali ZardariZardari, Asif Ali
, 1955–, Pakistani politician, president of Pakistan (2008–13), b. Nawabshah. From a wealthy, prominent family, he studied at St. Patrick's College in Pakistan and the London School of Business Studies in England.
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, and her party of corruption. Zardari was held (1990–93) on various charges, although eventually acquitted, and the PPP lost the late 1990 elections.

In 1993, Bhutto again became prime minister. By then a more seasoned politician, she made alliances, including with the military, that enabled her to deal with some of Pakistan's deep-seated problems. In Nov., 1996, though, her government was again dismissed. Zardari was accused of murdering Bhutto's brother, a political rival, as well as of accepting kickbacks, and was imprisoned; sweeping corruption charges were brought against Bhutto. In 1999, Bhutto and Zardari were both convicted of corruption; Bhutto appealed the verdict while living in exile in England and the United Arab Emirates.

In 2001 the Pakistani supreme court set aside the corruption charges facing Bhutto and Zardari and ordered their retrial, but a Swiss court convicted the couple of money laundering in 2003. Bhutto was barred from running in the 2002 Pakistani parliamentary elections. Zardari was released from prison in 2004, a move that appeared designed to improve the Musharraf government's relations with the PPP; he subsequently left Pakistan.

In Oct., 2007, after extended negotiations with the government, Bhutto returned to Pakistan, intending to run for prime minister in the scheduled Jan., 2008 elections. On her return, she survived an attempt on her life that killed more than 130 persons, but was assassinated two months later in an attack, widely ascribed to Islamic militants, that followed a political rally in Rawalpindi. A UN report, released in 2010, said Pakistani intelligence agencies had hampered the investigation into her murder. In 2017 the Islamist militants accused of her murder who had not been killed in military operations were acquitted; two police officials were convicted of negligence and mishandling the case; and former Pres. Pervez MusharrafMusharraf, Pervez
, 1943–, Pakistani army officer, president of Pakistan (2001–), b. Delhi. After the partition of British India, his family resettled in Karachi, Pakistan; he spent (1949–56) some of his childhood in Turkey, where his father was posted as a
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, accused of complicity, was declared a fugitive. Her son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, 1988–, assisted by her husband, succeeded her as PPP leader.


See her autobiography, Daughter of Destiny (1989, repr. 2008) and her Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West (2008).

References in periodicals archive ?
The banners carry pictures of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira and other central and local leaders.
The speakers said that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and other members of the Bhutto family had fought against dictators for the sake of democracy.
Javed Hashmi observed that politicians always delivered and quoted examples of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, and Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for their contribution towards atomic Pakistan, Missiles programme and CPEC, respectively.
He said accountability was not anything naive for the Sharif family as it had already gone through the process four times in 1972, 1988, 1993 and 1999 during Zulfikar Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and Musharraf regimes respectively.
PPP women workers were present on the occasion and offered fateha for Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto Shaheed and Makhdoom Amin Faheem.
The assassination site as well as the road leading to the monument were decorated with party flags, portraits of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, her spouse Asif Ali Zardari and son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Imran Khan recalled that the Sharif family attacked Nusrat Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and Jemima Khan in past.
The minister said the PPP leadership had been befooling the people in name of Zulfiqar Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto but never delivered for people's betterment.
Shah laid floral wreaths and offered Dua at the graves of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Murtaza Bhutto and Shahnawaz Bhutto.
The followers and well-wishers of PPP on the occasion were carrying big portraits of Late Begum Nusrat Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Co-Chairman of PPP Asif Ali Zardari.
Billboards carrying pictures of PPP founding leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari were placed at Kakri Ground, the venue of the rally.
Meanwhile, the leaders and workers of PPP (Shaheed Bhutto) led by PPP-SB Chairperson Ghinwa Bhutto visited Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto offered Fateha and place floral wreaths on the grave of Shaheed Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Mir Murtaza Bhutto, Shahnawaz Bhutto and offered Fateha.