Benazir Bhutto, the first woman elected prime minister in a Muslim nation, led Pakistan twice,
from 1988 to 1990 and then again from 1993 to 1996.
After a political rally in Rawalpindi, she was assassinated in 2007.
Zulfikar was the son of Shah Nawaz Bhutto, a prominent politician who had served as Prime Minister of the Junagadh State. The Bhuttos were aristocratic, wealthy landlords from Sindh, part of the waderos or landed gentry. They were Sunni Muslims, although Nusrat had been born into a Shia Muslim family before converting to Sunni Islam upon marriage.
The couple had married in September 1951, and Benazir was their first child. She was given the name of an aunt who had died young. The Bhuttos' three younger children were Murtaza (born 1954), Sanam (1957), and Shahnawaz (1958).
Benazir Bhutto (Sindhi: بينظير ڀُٽو; Urdu pronunciation: [beːnəˈziːr ˈbʱʊʈ.ʈoː]; 21 June 1953 – 27 December 2007) was a Pakistani politician who served as the 11th and 13th prime minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1996. She was the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim majority country. Ideologically a liberal and a secularist, she chaired or co-chaired the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) from the early 1980s until her assassination in 2007.
Of mixed Sindhi and Kurdish parentage, Bhutto was born in Karachi to a politically important, wealthy aristocratic family. She studied at Harvard University and the University of Oxford, where she was President of the Oxford Union. Her father, the PPP leader Zulfikar Bhutto, was elected Prime Minister on a socialist platform in 1973.
She returned to Pakistan in 1977, shortly before her father was ousted in a military coup and executed. Bhutto and her mother Nusrat took control of the PPP and led the country's Movement for the Restoration of Democracy; Bhutto was repeatedly imprisoned by Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq's military government and then self-exiled to Britain in 1984.
Benazir Bhutto takes her oath in 1988 as the first Muslim Woman Prime Minister of any Muslim State. Photo: file
She returned in 1986 and—influenced by Thatcherite economics—transformed the PPP's platform from a socialist to a liberal one, before leading it to victory in the 1988 election. As Prime Minister, her attempts at reform were stifled by conservative and Islamist forces, including President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and the powerful military. Her administration was accused of corruption and nepotism and dismissed by Khan in 1990. Intelligence services rigged that year's election to ensure a victory for the conservative Islamic Democratic Alliance (IJI), at which Bhutto became Leader of the Opposition.
After the IJI government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was also dismissed on corruption charges, Bhutto led the PPP to victory in the 1993 elections. Her second term oversaw economic privatisation and attempts to advance women's rights. Her government was damaged by several controversies, including the assassination of her brother Murtaza, a failed 1995 coup d'état, and a further bribery scandal involving her and her husband Asif Ali Zardari; in response, President Farooq Leghari dismissed her government. The PPP lost the 1997 election and in 1998 she went into self-exile, living between Dubai and London for the next decade.
A widening corruption inquiry culminated in a 2003 conviction in a Swiss court. Following the United States–brokered negotiations with President Pervez Musharraf, she returned to Pakistan in 2007 to compete in the 2008 elections; her platform emphasised civilian oversight of the military and opposition to growing Islamist violence.
Shaheed Benazir Bhutto's last speech at Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi on 27-12-2007.
After a political rally in Rawalpindi, she was assassinated. The Salafi jihadi group al-Qaeda claimed responsibility, although the involvement of the Pakistani Taliban and rogue elements of the intelligence services was widely suspected. She was buried at her family mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Baksh.
Bhutto was a controversial figure who remains divisive to this day. She was often criticised as being politically inexperienced, was accused of being corrupt, and faced much opposition from Pakistan's Islamist lobby for her secularist and modernizing agenda. In the early years of her career, she was nevertheless domestically popular and also attracted support from Western nations, for whom she was a champion of democracy. Posthumously, she came to be regarded as an icon for women's rights due to her political success in a male-dominated society.
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1971~77년 파키스탄의 지도자였던 저명한 정치가인 줄피카르 알리 부토 총리의 딸로 카라치에서 출생한 베나지르 부토는 하버드대학교에서 수학한 뒤 1973년 학위를 받았고, 이어서 옥스포드대학교에서 철학·정치학·경제학을 공부하여 1977년 학위를 받았다. 같은 해 6월 파키스탄으로 돌아온 지 불과 며칠 후 부토의 아버지는 당시 참모총장 모하마드 지아 울 하크 장군에 의해 실각당했으며 1979년 처형되었다.
부토는 계엄령이 해제된 후 1986년 파키스탄으로 돌아온 후 곧 지아에 대항할 수 있는 최대의 정적으로 떠올랐다. 1988년 11월 국민선거가 계획되었다. 그러나 그해 8월 지아 대통령이 의문의 비행기 사고로 사망함으로써 파키스탄 정치 핵심부에 권력 공백이 발생했다.
1988년 베나지르 부토가 이끄는 파키스탄 인민당이 선거에서 대승하여 국회에서 최대 의석을 차지했다. 부토는 1988년 12월 1일 대통령 서리로부터 총리에 임명되었으나 1991년에 열린 총선에서 패배해 총리직을 내놓았다.
2007년 12월 27일, 2주 후의 총선을 앞둔 채 암살되었다.