|Daughter of EastBenazir Bhutto|
|Benazir Bhutto, 2004.|
|11th Prime Minister of Pakistan|
19 October, 1993 – 5 November, 1996
|Preceded by||Moin-ud-din Qureshi (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Malik Meraj Khalid (Acting)|
2 December, 1988 – 6 August, 1990
|President||Ghulam Ishaq Khan|
|Preceded by||General Zia-ul-Haque|
|Succeeded by||Ghulam Mustafa Jatoie (Acting)|
|6th Leader of the Opposition|
17 February, 1997 – 12 October, 1999
|Prime Minister||Navaz Sharif|
6 November 1990 – 18 April 1993
|Prime Minister||Navaz Sharif|
|17th Finance Minister of Pakistan|
26 January, 1994 – 10 October, 1996
|Preceded by||Syed Babar Ali (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Navaid Qamar|
|18th Defence Minister of Pakistan|
4 December, 1988 – 6 August, 1990
|President||Ghulam Ishaq Khan|
|Prime Minister||Navaz Sharif|
Mustafa Jatoie (Acting)
|Preceded by||Mahmood Haro-on (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Ghous Ali-Shah|
|3rd Chairwoman of Pakistan People's Party|
12 November 1982 – 27 December 2007
Acting until 10 January 1984
Serving with Aftab Ahmed Scherpao, SVP
|Preceded by||Nusrat Isphanie Bhutto|
|Succeeded by||Asif Ali Zardari|
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari
21 June 1953
Karachi, Sindh Province,West-Pakistan
|Died||27 December 2007 (aged 54)|
Rawalpindi Punjab Province,Pakistan
|Resting place||Zulfikar Bhutto Mausoleum atGardhi Khuda Bux, in Larkana District.|
|Political party||Pakistan Peoples Party|
|Spouse(s)||Asif Ali Zardari(1987–2007)|
|Alma mater||Radcliffe College, Harvard University|
(B.A. (Hons) )
Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
St Catherine's College, Oxford
|Notable Awards||U.N. Prize for Human Rights|
Benazir Bhutto (Sindhi: بينظير ڀٽو; Urdu: بینظیر بھٹو,pronounced [beːnəˈziːr ˈbʱʊʈʈoː]; 21 June 1953 – 27 December 2007) was a Pakistani woman socialist-democratic politician who was the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan, and also the 3rdchairwoman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)— a democratic socialist, centre-left, and the largest political party in Pakistan. Bhutto was the first woman elected to lead a Muslim state,having twice been Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms (1988–1990; 1993–1996). She was Pakistan's first and to date only female prime minister and was the eldest child of former Prime minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and former First Lady of Pakistan Nusrat Bhutto, and was the wife of current President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari.
Noted for her charismatic authority and political astuteness, Benazir Bhutto took initiatives for Pakistan's economy, national security, and adhered capitalism policies for the industrial development. Benazir disbanded her father's nationalizationpolicies and replaced with privatization in an attempt to improve the economy. Many of the industries that brought under the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1970s were privatized by her government during her first government. Bhutto was sworn in as Prime Minister for the first time in 1988 at the age of 35, but was removed from office 20 months later under the order of conservative President Ghulam Ishaq Khan on grounds of alleged corruption. However, Benazir Bhutto and the Pakistan Peoples Party won the 1993 parliamentary elections and was sworned as Prime minister. A serious coup d'état was attempted by the senior officers of Pakistan Army, however, the M.I. led by Major-General Ali Kuli Khan Khattak exposed the culprits behind this plot. In retaliation, Benazir Bhutto ordered the trial and thedissidents were detained in the military jails by her government. After this attempt, her term was cut short and her government was dismissed in 1996 on similar corruption charges, this time by her party's own hand-picked and elected President Farooq Leghari. Bhutto again participated and campaigned in the 1997 Parliamentary elections, but was defeated in by a large-scale margin by the conservative leader Navaz Sharif. As wake of this elections, Benazir Bhutto departed from Pakistan and went into self-imposed exile in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 1998.
After 9 years of self-exile, Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007, after having reached an understanding with Military President General Pervez Musharraf by which she was granted amnesty and all corruption charges were withdrawn. Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on 27 December 2007, after departing a PPP's last rally in the city of Rawalpindi, two weeks before the scheduled Pakistani general election of 2008 in which she was a leading opposition candidate. The following year, she was named one of seven winners of the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights.
Education and personal life
Benazir Bhutto was born at Pinto Hospital in Karachi, Dominion of Pakistan on 21 June 1953. She was the eldest child of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a PakistaniShia Muslim of Sindhi Rajput descent, and Begum Nusrat Ispahani, a Pakistani Shia Muslim of Kurdish-Iranian descent. Her paternal grandfather was Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto.
Bhutto was raised to speak both English and Urdu; English was her first language and while her Urdu was fluent it was often also ungrammatical. Despite her family being Sindhi speakers, her Sindhi skills were almost non-existent.
She attended the Lady Jennings Nursery School and Convent of Jesus and Mary in Karachi. After two years of schooling at the Rawalpindi Presentation Convent, she was sent to the Jesus and Mary Convent atMurree. She passed her O-level examinations at the age of 15. She then went on to complete her A-Levelsat the Karachi Grammar School.
After completing her early education in Pakistan, she pursued her higher education in the United States. From 1969 to 1973 she attended Radcliffe College at Harvard University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree with cum laude honors in comparative government. She was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa.Bhutto would later call her time at Harvard "four of the happiest years of my life" and said it formed "the very basis of her belief in democracy". Later in 1995 as Prime Minister, she would arrange a gift from the Pakistani government to Harvard Law School. In June 2006, she received an Honorary LL.D degree from the University of Toronto.
The next phase of her education took place in the United Kingdom. Between 1973 and 1977 Bhutto studiedPhilosophy, Politics, and Economics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, during which time she completed additional courses in International Law and Diplomacy. After LMH she attended St Catherine's College, Oxford and in December 1976 she was elected president of the Oxford Union, becoming the first Asian woman to head the prestigious debating society.
On 18 December 1987, she married Asif Ali Zardari in Karachi. The couple had three children: two daughters, Bakhtawar and Asifa, and a son, Bilawal. When she gave birth to Bakhtawar in 1990, she became the first modern head of government to give birth while in office.
Benazir Bhutto's father, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was removed from office following a military coup in 1977 led by the then chief of army General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who imposed martial law but promised to hold elections within three months. Nevertheless, instead of fulfilling the promise of holding general elections, General Zia charged Bhutto with conspiring to murder the father of dissident politician Ahmed Raza Kasuri. Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was sentenced to death by the martial law court.
Despite the accusation being "widely doubted by the public", and many clemency appeals from foreign leaders, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged on 4 April 1979. Appeals for clemency were dismissed by acting President General Zia. Benazir Bhutto and her mother were held in a "police camp" until the end of May, after the execution.
The Time of Struggle: Zia's military dictatorship
After the overthrow of her father and elected Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto' and his socialist-democratic government in a bloodless coup (see Operation Fair Play) Benazir Bhutto spent the next eighteen months in and out of house arrest as she struggled to rally political support to force General Zia-ul-Haq to drop murder charges against her father. General Zia-ul-Haq ignored worldwide appeals for clemency and had Zulfikar Bhutto hanged in April 1979 despite appeals of clemency were called worldwide. Following the hanging of her father, Benazir Bhutto was arrested repeatedly, however, following PPP's victory in the local elections Zia postponed the national elections indefinitely and moved Benazir Bhutto and her mother Nusrat Bhutto from Karachi to Larkana. This was the seventh time that Benazir Bhutto had been arrested within two years of the military coup. Repeatedly put under house arrest, the regime finally imprisoned her under solitary confinement in a desert cell in Sindhi province during the summer of 1981. She described the conditions in her wall-less cage in her book "Daughter of Destiny", which goes by the title of "Daughter of the East" in Commonwealth countries for copyright reasons:
"The summer heat turned my cell into an oven. My skin split and peeled, coming off my hands in sheets. Boils erupted on my face. My hair, which had always been thick, began to come out by the handful. Insects crept into the cell like invading armies. Grasshoppers, mosquitoes, stinging flies, bees and bugs came up through the cracks in the floor and through the open bars from the courtyard. Big black ants, cockroaches, seething clumps of little red ants and spiders. I tried pulling the sheet over my head at night to hide from their bites, pushing it back when it got too hot to breathe."
After her six month imprisonment in Sukkur jail, she remained hospitalized for months after which she was shifted to Karachi Central Jail, where she remained imprisoned until December 11, 1981. She was then placed under house arrests in Larkana and Karachi eleven and fourteen months respectively.
Self-exile in London
In January 1984, after six years of house arrests and imprisonment, Zia succumbed to international pressure and allowed Benazir Bhutto to travel abroad for medical reasons. After undergoing a surgery, she resumed her political activities and began to raise concerns about the mistreatment of political prisoners in Pakistan at the behest of Zia regime. The intensified pressure forced General Zia into holding a referendum to give certain legitimacy to his government. The referendum held on 1 December 1984 proved a farce, and only 10% of the voters bothered to turn out despite the state machinery.
Further pressure from the international community forced General Zia into holding elections, for a unicameral legislature on a non-party basis. The People's Party thus announced a boycott of the election on the grounds that they were not being held in accordance with the constitution of Pakistan. She continued to raise voice against human rights violations by the regime and addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg in 1985,
"When the conscience of the world is justly aroused against apartheid and against human rights violations.. then that conscience ought not to close its eyes to the murder by military courts which takes place in a country which receives.. aid from the West itself." The Zia regime reacted to the speech by announcing death sentences for 54 PPP workers at a military court in Lahore.
Benazir Bhutto, who had returned to Pakistan after completing her studies, found herself placed under house arrest in the wake of her father's imprisonment and subsequent execution. Having been allowed in 1984 to return to the United Kingdom, she became a leader in exile of the People's Party of Pakistan (PPP), her father's party, though she was unable to make her political presence felt in Pakistan until after the death of General Zia-ul-Haq. She had succeeded her mother as leader of the PPP and the pro-democracy opposition to the General Zia-ul-Haq regime.
1988 Parliamentary elections
The seat, from which Benazir contested for the post of Prime Minister, was the same one from which her father had previously contested, namely, NA 207. This seat was first contested in 1926 by the late Sardar Wahid Bux Bhutto, in the first ever elections in Sindh. The elections were for the Central Legislative Assembly of India. Sardar Wahid Bux won, and became not only the first elected representative from Sindh to a democratically elected parliament, but also the youngest member of the Central Legislative Assembly, aged 27. Wahid Bux's achievement was monumental as it was he who was the first Bhutto elected to a government, from a seat that would, thereafter always be contested by his family members. Therefore, it was he who provided the breakthrough and a start to this cycle. Sardar Wahid Bux went on to be elected to the Bombay Council as well. After Wahid Bux's untimely and mysterious death at the age of 33, his younger brother Nawab Nabi Bux Bhutto contested from the same seat and remained undefeated until retirement. It was he who then gave this seat to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to contest.[clarification needed] In 1989, Benazir was awarded the Prize For Freedom by theLiberal International.
First term (1988-90)
On 16 November 1988, in the first open election in more than a decade, Bhutto's PPP won the largest bloc of seats in the National Assembly. Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as the 11th and first woman Prime Minister of acoalition government, formed with MQM as her ally, on December 2, becoming at age 35 the youngest person— and the first woman— to head the government of a Muslim-majority state in modern times. However, Benazir Bhutto successfully and quietly isolated MQM from the government influence, later ousted her from her government, establishing the single Benazir Bhutto government and claimed the entire mandate from all over the Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto found her self struggling against the controversial domestic policies of General Zia-ul-Haq. Benazir Bhutto also vowed to repeal the controversial Hudood Ordinance and to revert theEight Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto also promised to shift Pakistan's Semi-presidential system to Parliamentary system. But, because of the constitution powers exercised and fondly enjoyed by conservative President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Benazir Bhutto was unable to fulfill her ambitious, policies, and plans. Khan vetoed laws and ordinance as he saw that these laws are being proposed and made to lessen the Presidential authority. Benazir Bhutto's accomplishments during this time were in initiatives for nationalist reform and modernization, that some conservatives characterized as Westernization.
Relations with India and Afghanistan war
Major events were happening as Benazir Bhutto was the Prime minister. In the Western fronts, the Soviet Union was withdrawing its combatant forces in Afghanistan Socialist Soviet Republic and the Pressler amendment came in effect. As Prime minister, Bhutto also gave an authorization of alleged covert andoperations to support Kashmiri succession movements in Indian Kashmir. On Western front, Bhutto also approve further military operations in Afghanistan. One of the notable authorization of the operation was in military action in Jalalabad of Soviet Afghanistan Republic (ASSR). This operation was planned by then-Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul, with impulsion of U.S. ambassador to Pakistan Robert Oakley. Known as Battle of Jalalabad, it was intended to gain a conventional victory on Soviet Union after Soviet Union had withdrawn her troops. The central planner of this operation was Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul who gained permission and authorization of Bhutto after he had briefed her on Afghanistan matter. The mission, planned solely by Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul, brutally failed in matter of two months, with no effective results were produced. The morale of the mujahideen involved in the attack slumped and many local commanders of concluded truces with the government. Angered and frustrated with the outcomes of the operation, Bhutto deposed and sacked Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul immediately. She replaced Gul with another Lieutenant General Shamsur Rahman Kallu who proved to be more capable officer in the Afghan war than Gul.
In 1991, Major-General Pervez Musharraf who was the Director-General of the Directorate-General for the Military Operations (DGMO), persuaded to Benazir Bhutto and proposed a strategic plan against India. It was a plan for a Kargil Infiltration, but Benazir asked General Musharraf about how would the international pressure would be countered. Musharraf remained silence, therefore Benazir rebuffed the plan.
A power struggle between Benazir and Khan was clearly seen when Benazir needed permission from Khan for imposing new policies. Benazir also attempt to shift parliamentary democracy to replace the semi-presidential system, but Khan's constitutional powers always vetoed Benazir's attempt.In 1990, after a long battle, Khan finally used Eighth amendment to dismissed Benazir Bhutto's government following charges of corruption.
The Pakistan-Election Commission again held new Parliamentary elections in 1990. The Conservative allianceunder the leadership of conservative leader Navaz Sharif. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, the conservative forces had chanced to rule the government, and Navaz Sharif became 12th Prime minister of Pakistan. She served as Leader of the Opposition while Sharif served as Prime Minister for the next five years. But soon met the same fate as of Bhutto as Khan also deposed his government on similar charges. Sharif attempted to revert the 8th Amendment but was unsuccessful, therefore he was forced to resign and later his government was dismissed.
Second term (1993-96)
In October 1993 elections were held again and her PPP coalition was victorious, allowing her to continue her reform initiatives. However, the corruption grew during her government, and her government became increasingly unpopular due to amid corruption scandals became public. One of the most internationally and widely nationally reported scandal was the Agosta Submarine scandal. Benazir Bhutto's spouse Asif Ali Zardari was linked with former Admiral Mansurul Haq who allegedely made side deals with French officials and Asif Ali Zardari while acquiring the submarine technology. It was one of the consequences that her government was dismissed and Asif Ali Zardari along with Mansurul Haq were arrested and a trial was set to place. Both Zardari and Haq were detained due to corruption cases and Benazir Bhutto flew to Dubai from Pakistan in 1998.
During her election campaigns, she promised to repeal controversial laws (such as Hudood and Zinaordinances) that curtail the rights of women in Pakistan. Bhutto was pro-life and spoke forcefully againstabortion, most notably at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, where she accused the West of "seeking to impose adultery, abortion, intercourse education and other such matters on individuals, societies and religions which have their own social ethos." However, Bhutto was not supported by the leading women organizations, who argued that after being elected twice, none of the reforms were made, instead controversial laws were exercised more toughly. Therefore, in 1997 elections, Bhutto failed to secure any support from women organizations and minorities were also gave cold-shoulder to Bhutto when she approached to them. It was not until 2006 when the Zina ordinance was finally repealed by a Presidential Ordinance issued by Pervez Musharraf in July 2006.
Bhutto was an active and founding member of the Council of Women World Leaders, a network of current and former prime ministers and presidents.
Benazir Bhutto's foreign policy were controversial and difficult for experts to describe in words. According to journalist Shyam Bhatia, Bhutto smuggled CDs containing uranium enrichment data to North Korea on a state visit that same year in return for data on missile technology.
Major-General Pervez Musharraf closely worked with Benazir Bhutto and her government when formulating the foreign policy. In 1993, during Benazir Bhutto's state visit to the United States, Major-General Pervez Musharraf who was tenuring as the Director-General of the Pakistan Army's Directorate-General for the Military Operation, was ordered by Bhutto to join this state visit. As unusual and unconventional it was for the Director of the Directorate-General for Military Operations (DGMO) to join this trip, Benazir Bhutto and her DGMO had chaired a secret meeting with Israeli officials in New York in 1993. Under her guidance, DGMO had intensified the ISI's liaison with Israel's Mossad. A final meeting was took place in 1995, and General Musharraf had also joined this meeting with Benazir Bhutto after she ordered General Musharraf to flew to New York on an immediate effects.
The relationships with India were at the lowest point. The ISI reported to her that P.V. Narasimha Rao, Indian Premier had given an authorization of nuclear tests. But the plans were halted after the U.S. interfered and U.S. approached to India to stop the preparations. Benazir Bhutto issued a statement concerning about the tests in which she reportedly told the international press that "If India carried the tests out, Pakistan would be forced to do it". One of the controversial policies that reported in 1996 were on Afghanistan. It was during her government when Taliban rose to prominence and many of her government officials were reported aiding Taliban in their fight to gain control of the government.
In 1996, amidst various corruption scandals Bhutto was dismissed by then-president Farooq Leghari, who used the Eighth Amendment discretionary powers to dissolve the government. The Supreme Court affirmed President Leghari's dismissal in a 6-1 ruling. Criticism against Bhutto came from the Punjabi elites and powerful landlord families who opposed Bhutto. She blamed this opposition for the destabilization of Pakistan. Shortly after rising to power in a 1999 military coup, Pervez Musharraf characterized Bhutto's terms as an "era of sham democracy" and others characterized her terms a period of corrupt, failed governments.
Policy on Taliban
The Taliban took power in Kabul in September 1996. It was during Bhutto's rule that the Taliban gained prominence in Afghanistan. She, like many at the time, including the United States government, viewed the Taliban as a group that could stabilize Afghanistan and enable trade access to the Central Asian republics, according to author Stephen Coll. He claims that her government provided military and financial support for the Taliban, even sending a small unit of the Pakistani army into Afghanistan. During her regime, Bhutto's government had controversially supported hardline Taliban, and many of her government officials were providing financial assistance to Taliban.
However 2007, she took an anti-Taliban stance, and condemned terrorist acts allegedly committed by the Taliban and their supporters.
Charges of corruption
After the dismissal of Bhutto's first government on August 6, 1990 by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan on the grounds of corruption, the government of Pakistan issued directives to its intelligence agencies to investigate the allegations. After fourth national elections, Nawaz Sharif became the Prime Minister and intensified prosecution proceedings against Bhutto. Pakistani embassies through western Europe, in France, Switzerland, Spain, Poland and Britain were directed to investigate the matter. Bhutto and her husband faced a number of legal proceedings, including a charge of laundering money through Swiss banks. Though never convicted, her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, spent eight years in prison on similar corruption charges. After being released on bail in 2004, Zardari suggested that his time in prison involved torture; human rights groups have supported his claim that his rights were violated.
A 1998 New York Times investigative report claims that Pakistani investigators have documents that uncover a network of bank accounts, all linked to the family's lawyer in Switzerland, with Asif Zardari as the principal shareholder. According to the article, documents released by the French authorities indicated that Zardari offered exclusive rights to Dassault, a French aircraft manufacturer, to replace the air force's fighter jetsin exchange for a 5% commission to be paid to a Swiss corporation controlled by Zardari. The article also said a Dubai company received an exclusive license to import gold into Pakistan for which Asif Zardari received payments of more than $10 million into his Dubai-based Citibank accounts. The owner of the company denied that he had made payments to Zardari and claims the documents were forged.
Bhutto maintained that the charges leveled against her and her husband were purely political. An Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) report supports Bhutto's claim. It presents information suggesting that Benazir Bhutto was ousted from power in 1990 as a result of a witch hunt approved by then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan. The AGP report says Khan illegally paid legal advisers 28 million rupees to file 19 corruption cases against Bhutto and her husband in 1990–92.
Yet the assets held by Bhutto and her husband continue to be scrutinized and speculated about. The prosecutors have alleged that their Swiss bank accounts contain £740 million. Zardari also bought a neo-Tudor mansion and estate worth over £4 million in Surrey, England, UK. The Pakistani investigations have tied other overseas properties to Zardari's family. These include a $2.5 million manor inNormandy owned by Zardari's parents, who had modest assets at the time of his marriage. Bhutto denied holding substantive overseas assets.
Despite numerous cases and charges of corruption registered against Bhutto by Nawaz Sharif between 1996–1999 and Pervez Musharraf from 1999 till 2008, she was yet to be convicted in any case after a lapse of twelve years since their commencement. The cases were withdrawn by the government of Pakistan after the return to power of Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party in 2008.
Early 2000s in exile
In 2002, Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf amended Pakistan's constitution to ban prime ministers from serving more than two terms. This disqualified Bhutto from ever holding the office again. This move was widely considered to be a direct attack on former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. On 3 August 2003, Bhutto became a member of Minhaj ul Quran International (an international Muslim educational and welfare organization).
While living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, she cared for her three children and her mother Nusrat, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, traveling to give lectures and keeping in touch with the PPP's supporters. They were reunited with her husband in December 2004 after more than five years. In 2006,Interpol issued a request for the arrest of Bhutto and her husband on corruption charges, at the request of Pakistan. The Bhuttos questioned the legality of the requests in a letter to Interpol. On 27 January 2007, she was invited by the United States to speak to President George W. Bush and Congressional and State Department officials. Bhutto appeared as a panellist on the BBC TV programme Question Time in the UK in March 2007. She has also appeared on BBC current affairs programme Newsnight on several occasions. She rebuffed comments made by Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq in May 2007 regarding the knighthood of Salman Rushdie, citing that he was calling for the assassination of foreign citizens.
Intention to return to Pakistan
Bhutto had declared her intention to return to Pakistan within 2007, which she did, in spite of Musharraf's statements of May 2007 about not allowing her to return ahead of the country's general election, due late 2007 or early 2008. It was speculated that she may have been offered the office of Prime Minister again.
Attitudes toward Urdu-speaking class
Arthur Herman, a U.S. historian, in a controversial letter published in The Wall Street Journal on 14 June 2007, in response to an article by Bhutto highly critical of the president and his policies, described her as "One of the most incompetent leaders in the history of South Asia," and asserted that she and other elites in Pakistan hate Musharraf because he was a muhajir, the son of one of millions of Indian Muslims who fled to Pakistan during independence in 1947. Herman claimed, "Although it was muhajirs who agitated for the creation of Pakistan in the first place, many native Pakistanis view them with contempt and treat them as third-class citizens." The author also noted that Bhutto excessively used the words "rats" and "bad blood" while she was briefed and later gave authorization of Operation Blue Fox to limit the Muhajir political activities in Sindh. The MQM refereed this operation as strong emphasis and forced imposition of Pakistan-based Jim Crow laws against Urdu-speaking class. While researching, an unknown Urdu-speaking spokesperson, told the historian that "we have bad blood; it was this blood that built this country".
In 1980s, Benazir Bhutto quietly and quickly removed the Urdu-speaking sentiment from her party, starting with most notable dr. Mubashir Hassan, co-founder of Pakistan People's Party and close friend of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. From the inception of the party, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had enjoyed a strong relations with Urdu-speaking communities and muhajirs had strong base in People's Party of Pakistan, and remained supporter of her father till the end. Many attribute Benazir's hatred towards Muhajir, was the imposition of martial law and then hanging of her father by General Zia-ul-Haq, a Punjabi muhajir from Jalandhar.
U.S. attempt for a Mushraff-Bhutto deal
Nonetheless, by mid-2007, the U.S. appeared to be pushing for a deal in which Musharraf would remain as president but step down as military head, and either Bhutto or one of her nominees would become prime minister.
On 11 July 2007, the Associated Press, in an article about the possible aftermath of the Red Mosque incident, wrote:
Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister and opposition leader expected by many to return from exile and join Musharraf in a power-sharing deal after year-end general elections, praised him for taking a tough line on the Red Mosque. "I'm glad there was no cease-fire with the militants in the mosque because cease-fires simply embolden the militants," she told Britain's Sky TV on Tuesday. "There will be a backlash, but at some time we have to stop appeasing the militants."
This remark about the Red Mosque was seen with dismay in Pakistan as reportedly hundreds of young students were burned to death and remains are untraceable and cases are being heard in Pakistani supreme court as a missing persons issue. This and subsequent support for Musharraf led Elder Bhutto's comrades like Khar to criticize her publicly.
Bhutto however advised Musharraf in an early phase of the latter's quarrel with the Chief Justice, to restore him. Her PPP did not capitalize on its CEC member, Aitzaz Ahsan, the chief Barrister for the Chief Justice, in successful restoration. Rather he was seen as a rival and was isolated.
The Bhutto-led PPP secured the highest number of votes (28.42%) and eighty seats (23.16%) in the national assembly in the October 2002 general elections. Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N) managed to win eighteen seats only. Some of the elected candidates of PPP formed a faction of their own, calling it PPP-Patriots, which was being led by Faisal Saleh Hayat, the former leader of Bhutto-led PPP. They later formed a coalition government with Musharraf's party, PML-Q.
Return to Pakistan
Possible deal with the Musharraf Government
In mid-2002 Musharraf implemented a two-term limit on Prime Ministers. Both Bhutto and Musharraf's other chief rival, Nawaz Sharif, had already served two terms as Prime Minister.
In July 2007, some of Bhutto's frozen funds were released.Bhutto continued to face significant charges of corruption. In an 8 August 2007 interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Bhutto revealed the meeting focused on her desire to return to Pakistan for the 2008 elections, and of Musharraf retaining the Presidency with Bhutto as Prime Minister. On 29 August 2007, Bhutto announced that Musharraf would step down as chief of the army. On September 1, 2007, Bhutto vowed to return to Pakistan "very soon", regardless of whether or not she reached a power-sharing deal with Musharraf before then.
On September 17, 2007, Bhutto accused Musharraf's allies of pushing Pakistan into crisis by their refusal to permit democratic reforms and power-sharing. A nine-member panel of Supreme Courtjudges deliberated on six petitions (including one from Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan's largest Islamic group) asserting that Musharraf be disqualified from contending for the presidency of Pakistan. Bhutto stated that her party could join one of the opposition groups, potentially that of Nawaz Sharif. Attorney-general Malik Mohammed Qayyum stated that, pendente lite, the Election Commission was "reluctant" to announce the schedule for the presidential vote. Bhutto's party's Farhatullah Babar stated that the Constitution of Pakistan could bar Musharraf from being elected again because he was already chief of the army: "As Gen. Musharraf was disqualified from contesting for President, he has prevailed upon the Election Commission to arbitrarily and illegally tamper with the Constitution of Pakistan."
Musharraf prepared to switch to a strictly civilian role by resigning from his position as commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He still faced other legal obstacles to running for re-election. On 2 October 2007, Gen. Musharraf named Lt. Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, as vice chief of the army starting October 8 with the intent that if Musharraf won the presidency and resigned his military post, Kayani would become chief of the army. Meanwhile, Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed stated that officials agreed to grant Benazir Bhutto amnesty versus pending corruption charges. She has emphasized the smooth transition and return to civilian rule and has asked Pervez Musharraf to shed uniform. On 5 October 2007, Musharraf signed the National Reconciliation Ordinance, giving amnesty to Bhutto and other political leaders—except exiled former premier Nawaz Sharif—in all court cases against them, including all corruption charges. The Ordinance came a day before Musharraf faced the crucial presidential poll. Both Bhutto's opposition party, the PPP, and the ruling PMLQ, were involved in negotiations beforehand about the deal. In return, Bhutto and the PPP agreed not to boycott the Presidential election. On 6 October 2007, Musharraf won a parliamentary election for President. However, the Supreme Court ruled that no winner can be officially proclaimed until it finishes deciding on whether it was legal for Musharraf to run for President while remaining Army General. Bhutto's PPP party did not join the other opposition parties' boycott of the election, but did abstain from voting. Later, Bhutto demanded security coverage on-par with the President's. Bhutto also contracted foreign security firms for her protection.
Return to Pakistan and the assassination attempt
Bhutto was well aware of the risk to her own life that might result from her return from exile to campaign for the leadership position. In an interview on September 28, 2007, with reporter Wolf Blitzer ofCNN, she readily admitted the possibility of attack on herself.
After eight years in exile in Dubai and London, Bhutto returned toKarachi on 18 October 2007, to prepare for the 2008 national elections.
En route to a rally in Karachi on 18 October 2007, two explosions occurred shortly after Bhutto had landed and left Jinnah International Airport. She was not injured but the explosions, later found to be a suicide-bomb attack, killed 136 people and injured at least 450. The dead included at least 50 of the security guards from her PPP who had formed a human chain around her truck to keep potential bombers away, as well as six police officers. A number of senior officials were injured. Bhutto, after nearly ten hours of the parade through Karachi, ducked back down into the steel command center to remove her sandals from her swollen feet, moments before the bomb went off. She was escorted unharmed from the scene.
Bhutto later claimed that she had warned the Pakistani government that suicide bomb squads would target her upon her return to Pakistan and that the government had failed to act. She was careful not to blame Pervez Musharraf for the attacks, accusing instead "certain individuals within the government who abuse their positions, who abuse their powers" to advance the cause of Islamic militants. Shortly after the attempt on her life, Bhutto wrote a letter to Musharraf naming four persons whom she suspected of carrying out the attack. Those named included Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, a rival PML-Q politician and chief minister of Pakistan's Punjab province, Hamid Gul, former director of the Inter-Services Intelligence, and Ijaz Shah, the director general of the Intelligence Bureau, another of the country's intelligence agencies. All those named are close associates of General Musharraf. Bhutto had a long history of accusing parts of the government, particularly Pakistan's premier military intelligence agencies, of working against her and her party because they oppose her liberal, secular agenda. Bhutto claimed that the ISI has for decades backed militant Islamic groups in Kashmir and in Afghanistan. She was protected by her vehicle and a "human cordon" of supporters who had anticipated suicide attacks and formed a chain around her to prevent potential bombers from getting near her. The total number of injured, according to PPP sources, stood at 1000, with at least 160 dead (The New York Times claims 134 dead and about 450 injured).
A few days later, Bhutto's lawyer Senator Farooq H. Naik said he received a letter threatening to kill his client.
2007 State of Emergency and response
On 3 November 2007, President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency, citing actions by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and religious extremism in the nation. Bhutto returned to the country, interrupting a visit to family in Dubai. She was greeted by supporters chanting slogans at the airport. After staying in her plane for several hours she was driven to her home in Lahore, accompanied by hundreds of supporters. While acknowledging that Pakistan faced a political crisis, she noted that Musharraf's declaration of emergency, unless lifted, would make it very difficult to have fair elections. She commented that "The extremists need a dictatorship, and dictatorship needs extremists."
|Wikinews has related news:Pakistan lifts house arrest of former PM Benazir Bhutto|
On 8 November 2007, Bhutto was placed under house arrest just a few hours before she was due to lead and address a rally against the state of emergency.
During a telephone interview with National Public Radio in the United States, Ms. Bhutto said "I have freedom of movement within the house. I do not have freedom of movement outside the house. They've got a heavy police force inside the house, and we've got a very heavy police force - 4,000 policemen around the four walls of my house, 1,000 on each. They've even entered the neighbors' house. And I was just telling one of the policemen, I said 'should you be here after us? Should not you be looking for Osama bin Laden?' And he said, 'I'm sorry, ma'am, this is our job. We're just doing what we are told.'"
The following day, the Pakistani government announced that Bhutto's arrest warrant had been withdrawn and that she would be free to travel and to appear at public rallies. However, leaders of other opposition political parties remained prohibited from speaking in public.
Preparation for 2008 elections
On 2 November 2007, Bhutto participated in an interview with David Frost on Al Jazeera, stating Osama Bin Laden had been murdered by Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who is one of the men convicted of kidnapping and killing U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl. Frost never asked a follow up question regarding the claim that Bin Laden was dead. Her interview could later be viewed on BBC's website, although it was initially distorted by the BBC as her claim about Bin Laden's death was taken out. But, once people discovered this and started posting evidence on YouTube, the BBC replaced its version with the version that was originally aired on Al Jazeera.
This led to conspiracy theories which conveniently ignore the fact that Bhutto referred to Osama Bin Laden as being alive after the David Frost interview.
On 24 November 2007, Bhutto filed her nomination papers for January's Parliamentary elections; two days later, she filed papers in the Larkana constituency for two regular seats. She did so as former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, following seven years of exile in Saudi Arabia, made his much-contested return to Pakistan and bid for candidacy.
When sworn in again on 30 November 2007, this time as a civilian president after relinquishing his post as military chief, Musharraf announced his plan to lift the Pakistan's state of emergency rule on December 16. Bhutto welcomed the announcement and launched a manifesto outlining her party's domestic issues. Bhutto told journalists in Islamabad that her party, the PPP, would focus on "the five E's": employment, education, energy, environment, equality.
On 4 December 2007, Bhutto met with Nawaz Sharif to publicize their demand that Musharraf fulfill his promise to lift the state of emergency before January's parliamentary elections, threatening to boycott the vote if he failed to comply. They promised to assemble a committee that would present to Musharraf the list of demands upon which their participation in the election was contingent.
On 8 December 2007, three unidentified gunmen stormed Bhutto's PPP office in the southern western province of Balochistan. Three of Bhutto's supporters were killed.
|This section may be too long to read and navigate comfortably. Please consider moving more of the content into sub-articles and using this article for a summary of the key points of the subject. (April 2010)|
|Wikinews has related news:Benazir Bhutto killed in suicide attack|
On 27 December 2007, Bhutto was killed while leaving a campaign rally for the PPP at Liaquat National Bagh, where she had given a spirited address to party supporters in the run-up to the January 2008 parliamentary elections. After entering her bulletproof vehicle, Bhutto stood up through its sunroof to wave to the crowds. At this point, a gunman fired shots at her and subsequently explosives were detonated near the vehicle killing approximately 20 people.Bhutto was critically wounded and was rushed to Rawalpindi General Hospital. She was taken into surgery at 17:35 local time, and pronounced dead at 18:16.
Bhutto's body was flown to her hometown of Garhi Khuda Bakhshin Larkana District, Sindh, and was buried next to her father in the family mausoleum at a ceremony attended by hundreds of thousands of mourners.
There was some disagreement about the exact cause of death. Bhutto's husband refused to permit an autopsy or post-mortemexamination to be carried out. On 28 December 2007, the Interior Ministry of Pakistan stated that "Bhutto was killed when she tried to duck back into the vehicle, and the shock waves from the blast knocked her head into a lever attached to the sunroof, fracturing her skull". However, a hospital spokesman stated earlier that she had suffered shrapnel wounds to the head and that this was the cause of her death. Bhutto's aides have also disputed the Interior Ministry's account. On December 31, CNN posted the alleged emergency room admission report as a PDF file. The document appears to have been signed by all the admitting physicians and notes that no object was found inside the wound.
Al-Qaeda commander Mustafa Abu al-Yazid claimed responsibility for the attack, describing Bhutto as "the most precious American asset." The Pakistani government also stated that it had proof that al-Qaeda was behind the assassination. A report for CNN stated: "the Interior Ministry also earlier told Pakistan's Geo TV that the suicide bomber belonged to Lashkar i Jhangvi—an al-Qaeda-linked militant group that the government has blamed for hundreds of killings". The government of Pakistan claimed Baitullah Mehsud was the mastermind behind the assassination. Lashkar i Jhangvi, aWahabi Muslim extremist organization affiliated with al-Qaeda that also attempted in 1999 to assassinate former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is alleged to have been responsible for the killing of the 54-year-old Bhutto along with approximately 20 bystanders, however this is vigorously disputed by the Bhutto family, by the PPP that Bhutto had headed and by Baitullah Mehsud. On 3 January 2008, President Musharraf officially denied participating in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto as well as failing to provide her proper security.On February 12, 2011, an Anti-Terrorism Court in Rawalpindi issued an arrest warrant for Musharraf, claiming he was aware of an impending assassination attempt by the Taliban, but did not pass the information on to those responsible for protecting Bhutto.
Reaction in Pakistan
After the assassination, there were initially a number of riots resulting in approximately 20 deaths, of which three were of police officers. Around 250 cars were burnt; angry and upset supporters of Bhutto threw rocks outside the hospital where she was being held. Through December 29, 2007, the Pakistani government said rioters had wrecked nine election offices, 176 banks, 34 gas stations, 72 train cars, 18 rail stations, and hundreds of cars and shops. President Musharraf decreed a three-day period of mourning.
On 30 December 2007, at a news conference following a meeting of the PPP leadership, Bhutto's widower Asif Ali Zardari and son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announced that 19-year-old Bilawal will succeed his mother as titular head of the party, with his father effectively running the party until his son completes his studies atChrist Church, Oxford. "When I return, I promise to lead the party as my mother wanted me to," Bilawal said. The PPP called for parliamentary elections to take place as scheduled on 8 January 2008, and Asif Ali Zardari said that vice-chair Makhdoom Amin Fahim would probably be the party's candidate for prime minister. (Bilawal is not of legal age to stand for parliament.)
On December 30, Bhutto's political party, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), called for the UK Governmentand the United Nations to help conduct the investigation of her death. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has been appointed chairman of his late mother's opposition political party in Pakistan. Bilawal was only 19 years old. On 5 February 2008, the PPP released Mrs. Bhutto's political will, which she wrote two weeks before returning to Pakistan and only 12 weeks before she was killed, stating that her husband Asif Ali Zardari would be the leader of the party, until a new leader is elected.
The international reaction to Bhutto's assassination was of strong condemnation across the international community. The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting and unanimously condemned the assassination. Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa stated that, "We condemn this assassination and terrorist act, and pray for God Almighty to bless her soul." India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singhsaid he was "deeply shocked and horrified to hear of the heinous assassination of Mrs. Benazir Bhutto. ... My heartfelt condolences go to her family and the people of Pakistan who have suffered a grievous blow."British Prime Minister Gordon Brown stated, "Benazir Bhutto may have been killed by terrorists but the terrorists must not be allowed to kill democracy in Pakistan and this atrocity strengthens our resolve that terrorists will not win there, here or anywhere in the world." European Commission President José Manuel Barroso condemned the assassination as "an attack against democracy and against Pakistan," and "hopes that Pakistan will remain firmly on track for return to democratic civilian rule." US President George W. Bush condemned the assassination as a "cowardly act by murderous extremists," and encouraged Pakistan to "honor Benazir Bhutto's memory by continuing with the democratic process for which she so bravely gave her life." Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone expressed the sadness of Pope Benedict XVI, saying that "the Holy Father expresses sentiments of deep sympathy and spiritual closeness to the members of her family and to the entire Pakistani nation." Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang said that China was "shocked at the killing of Pakistan's opposition leader Benazir Bhutto" and "strongly condemns the terrorist attack."
Scotland Yard investigation
British detectives were asked by the Pakistani government to investigate the assassination. Although expressing reservations as to the difficulty in investigating due to the crime scene having been hosed down and Asif Zardari's refusing permission for a post mortem, the Pakistani government announced on 8 February 2008 that Benazir Bhutto had been killed on impact by the knob of the sun roof following the bomb explosion.
A formal investigation by the UN commenced on July 1, 2009. The report concluded that the security measures provided to Bhutto by the government were "fatally insufficient and ineffective". Furthermore, the report states that the treatment of the crime scene after her death "goes beyond mere incompetence". The report states that "police actions and omissions, including the hosing down of the crime scene and failure to collect and preserve evidence, inflicted irreparable damage to the investigation."
In May 2007, Bhutto asked for additional protection from foreign contracting agencies Blackwater and the British Firm Armor Group. The United Nation's investigation of the incident revealed that,"Ms. Bhutto's assassination could have been prevented if adequate security measures had been taken."
Nuclear weapons programme
Bhutto contributed in a programme founded and started by her father in 1970s, was one of the key political administrative figures of Pakistan's nuclear deterrent development. It was during her regime that Pressler amendment came in effect in an attempt to freeze the programme. Bhutto, otherwise told the United States Government that the programme had been frozen, but the programme was progressively modernized and continued under her watch. Under her regime, the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) had conducted series of improvised designs of nuclear weapons designed by Theoretical Physics Group (TPG) at PAEC. Benazir Bhutto's father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was the father of Pakistan's nuclear deterrence programme, and was instructed to keep in touch with senior scientists involved in this programme. Benazir Bhutto also carried messages to Munir Ahmad Khan from her father and back in 1979 as her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, had instructed his daughter to remain in touch with the Chairman of PAEC.[nb 1] In this context, Bhutto had appointed Munir Ahmad Khan as her Science Adviser who kept her informed about the development of the programme.
During his first term, Bhutto had approved and launched the Shaheen programme as she had advocated for this programme strongly. A vocal and avid supporter of the program, Bhutto also allotted funds for the programme, and strategic programs were launched under Bhutto's premiership. On 6 January 1996, Bhutto publicly announced that if India conducts a nuclear test, Pakistan could be forced to "follow suit". Bhutto later said that the day will never arise when we have to use our knowledge to make and detonate a [nuclear] device and export our technology.
Nuclear proliferation with North-Korea
Shyam Bhatia, an Indian journalist, alleged in his book Goodbye Shahzadi that in 1993, Bhutto had downloaded secret information on uranium enrichment, through Pakistan's former top scientist dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, to give to North Korea in exchange for information on developing ballistic missiles (Rodong-1) and that Bhutto had asked him to not tell the story during her lifetime. Nuclear expert David Albright of the Institute of Science and International Security said the allegations "made sense" given the timeline of North Korea's nuclear program. George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace called Bhatia a "smart and serious guy." Selig Harrison of the Center for International Policy called Bhatia "credible on Bhutto." The officials at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, D.C. denied the claims and a senior U.S. Department of State officials dismissed them, insisting that dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who had been earlier accused of proliferating secrets to North Korea (only to deny them later, prior to Bhatia's book), was the source. In spite of Pakistan Government's denial, leading experts has long believed that Khan had acted with the willingness of high government officials, and his activities were government sanction approved by President Ghulam Khan and Benazir Bhutto as Prime minister at that time, for their own benefits and personal agendas.
Position on 1998 Tests
In recent declassified and undated papers released by Wikileaks, Benazir Bhutto opposed the idea of carrying out and conducting nuclear tests, despite she had made calls for Pakistan to conduct tests as reply to Indian' nuclear tests (see Pokhran-II) earlier. Bhutto maintained that the "eat grass" statements – used by former prime ministers Zulfikar Bhutto and Navaz Sharif – have been used to assure people of Pakistan that austerity measures would be adopted but national security would not be compromised. In an undated leaks, Bhutto was sought by the United States to soften her stance and support for nuclear tests, and cautioned Bhutto that her reaction to India’s tests had been criticized in the West. Bhutto and her party's officials that the PPP publicly state that the issue of tests was too important to be used as a “political football”. While talking to an American diplomat, Bhutto said that the time for the test had passed and it would have a disastrous impact on Pakistan’s economy and international reputation. Bhutto said that, "I cannot say these things publicly, but neither will I call for a detonation".
Commenting on her legacy, the acclaimed south Asia expert William Dalrymple commented that "It's wrong for the West simply to mourn Benazir Bhutto as a martyred democrat since her legacy was far murkier and more complex". Despite her western and positive image in the world, Benazir's controversial policies and support has made her legacy is more complicated and extremely difficult to describe in words. During her premiership, Bhutto had allegedly approved for the support of Taliban and A.Q. Khan's proliferation was also started during her first government. Bhutto also failed to revert the controversial Hudood Ordinance — a presidential ordnance enforced to subordinate and suppressed woman's right and minority religious activities in the country. It was not until the military regime of General Musharraf who reverted the law and replaced with more progressive law. Due to Bhutto's policies, original cabinet members of Zulfikar Bhutto did not joined Benazir's government, most notable dr. Mubaschir Hassan who denied to work with Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto successfully sidelined Urdu-speaking Muhajir sentiment in the party and feudal leaders and notable Sindhi nationalist were part of Benanzir's party. It was later reveal that Benazir Bhutto, as oppose to her father, hated and strongly disliked Urdu-speaking Muhajirs, and considered them as third-class citizens of Pakistan.
In most notable case was the approval of Operation Blue Fox to remove the major Urdu-speaking political partyMQM where hundreds of Urdu-speaking communities were either targeted by the Pakistan Army Rangers.Furthermore, Benazir Bhutto ultimately lost support from Urdu-speaking communities in Pakistan and Muhajir sentiment was forced to give its vote to conservative leader Navaz Sharif and MQM for its choice to survive.It was clearly seen in 1997 parliamentary elections, when Urdu-speaking communities voted for Navaz Sharif who over-overwhelmingly won the election, securing victory both in landslide and Electoral vote. For some observers, it was the worst parliamentary defeat of People's Party and Bhutto since the party's inception where Bhutto and People's party failed to secure any vote bank in the country.
The Pakistani government honoured Bhutto on her birth anniversary by renaming the Islamabad International Airport as Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Muree Road of Rawalpindi as Benazir Bhutto Road and Rawalpindi General Hospital as Benazir Bhutto Hospital after her. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, a member of Bhutto's PPP also asked President Pervez Musharraf to pardon convicts on death row on her birthday in honour of Bhutto.
The city of Nawabshah in Sindh was renamed Benazirabad in her honor. A university in the Dir Upper district of NWFP is opened in her name.
Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), a program which provides benefits to the poorest Pakistanis, is named after Bhutto.
Benazir Bhutto's books
- Benazir Bhutto (1983). Pakistan: the gathering storm. ISBN 978-0-7069-2495-4.
- Benazir Bhutto (1989). Daughter of the East. Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-12398-0.
Daughter of the East was also released as:
- Benazir Bhutto (1989-03). Daughter of Destiny: An Autobiography. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-66983-6.
At the time of Bhutto's death, the manuscript for her third book, to be called Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West, had been received by HarperCollins. The book, written with Mark Siegel, was published in February 2008.
- Benazir Bhutto (2008). Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-156758-2.