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Remembering Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto; First Muslim woman Premier

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Every human who comes in this world have to die one day. But this loss of Benazir Bhutto’s life is unbearable for citizens of Pakistan and for the whole world. It’s been 13 years of period has been passed she was murdered by a terrorist attack in 27 December 2007 in Rawalpindi Liaquat Bagh while returning from a public gathering during 2008 election campaign.

Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was buried alongside her father Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, (Pakistan’s first popularly elected prime minister) at the Bhutto Family Mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Baksh Larkana (Sindh),Benazir Bhutto was born on June 21, 1953, in Karachi’s Pinto Hospital.​

After completing her early education in Pakistan, she pursued her higher education in the United States She attended Radcliffe College from 1969 to 1973, and then enrolled at Harvard University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in comparative government.

Then in the United Kingdom, where she studied at Oxford University from 1973 to 1977, completed a course in international law and diplomacy, also served as the first Asian woman to preside over the Oxford Union.

Her father Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was Pakistan’s prime minister in the 1970s, General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq overthrew her father’s government. One year after Zia-ul-Haq became president in 1978, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged on charges of authorizing the murder of an opponent decision of hanging Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was taken in very Haste because of alleged dictatorship influence.

She inherited her father’s leadership of the PPP. There was more family tragedy in 1980 when Bhutto’s brother Shahnawaz was killed in his apartment on the Riviera in 1980. The family insisted he was poisoned, but no charges were brought.

Another brother, Mir Murtaza Bhutto, died in 1996 (while Benazir Bhutto was in power) in a gun battle with police in Karachi.​

She moved to England in 1984, became the joint leader in exile of the PPP, and then returned to Pakistan on April 10, 1986, to launch a nationwide campaign for ‘open elections’. She married with Asif Ali Zardari, in Karachi on December 18, 1987. The couple had three children: son Bilawal and two daughters, Bakhtawar and Aseefa.

Zia ul Haq Dictatorship ended when he was killed in a plane crash in 1988 and then Benazir Bhutto was elected prime minister barely three months after giving birth to her first child.

She became the first ever female prime minister of a Muslim nation on December 1, 1988.

She continued to be a prominent focus of opposition discontent, and won a further election in 1993, but was replaced in 1996.​

At age 35, Benazir Bhutto was one of the youngest chiefs of state in the world. She was the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan and the leader of the center-left Pakistan Peoples Party. She was the first woman in the world to head a Muslim majority nation.  She spread knowledge by building colleges and universities, especially of professional studies and vocational training. She opened the way for the middle classes to develop and prosper in the fields of medicine, engineering, law, and other special studies, provide jobs to unemployed people from all over the country, She had also fought for women’s health, social, discrimination issues and was against violence towards women. She planned to set up women police stations, banks and also courts. She was in the forefront to form the council of women world leaders.​

As a politician, daughter, sister, wife, and mother, she fulfilled her responsibilities to the best of imaginable capabilities. She was a Benazir in every manner. She was a heartthrob to millions and continues to rule their hearts and minds even today. Benazir Bhutto was the dominant figure in Pakistani politics.​

Benazir Bhutto was killed when an assassin fired shots and then blew himself up after an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007, at Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi. Incidentally, Liaquat Bagh is also the location where Pakistan’s inaugural prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in October 1951.​

 She was attacked when she was leaving a rally of her Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) supporters in the garrison town of Rawalpindi.​

 According to a report in Dawn, she appeared on the sunroof of the jeep to acknowledge the loud cheers from the crowd. Eyewitness accounts as reported by the daily suggest that four to five gunshots were heard, following which a suicide bomber blew himself up. She was later declared dead at the Rawalpindi General Hospital.​

The New York Times referred her as “a woman of grand aspirations with a taste for complex political maneuverings”. Several universities and public buildings in Pakistan bear Benazir’s name, while her career influenced a number of activists including Malala Yousafzai. She authored two books, named Daughter of Destiny: An Autobiography (1989) and Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West (2008) and write as a contributor in different books, Several collections of her speeches and works have been compiled which include “The Way Out”, Pakistan Foreign Policy, Challenges and Responses in the Post-Cold War era in “After the Cold War” by Keith Philip Lepor and Male Domination of Women offends her Islamic religion in “Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History” by William Saffire, She has also contributed to many periodicals and to the books, “Predictions for the Next Millennium” by Kristof and Nickerson and “Book of Hopes and Dreams” published by Bookmaster Inc​.

According to Naheed Khan, a former aide to Benazir Bhutto, she was the symbol of a progressive and liberal Pakistan. In his article for The News International, he writes that Benazir Bhutto stood for democracy in the country and believed poverty and unemployment to be a threat to the growth of democracy in Pakistan.

In its obituary, The Telegraph said, “She was seen to greatest effect on the campaign trail, where she was renowned for her hectoring speeches and raucous motorcades. Face to face, she could appear somewhat haughty, not unlike her role model Margaret Thatcher.”​

During one of her speeches in London, she said,​ “I appeal to the youth of Pakistan to come forward and unite for the restoration of democracy and constitutional rule. I have great faith in the youth of Pakistan. I know the youth will redeem my faith in them. You, the youth, are our successor generation. To you we pass the torch of leadership, our democratic vision baptized in the sacred blood of our martyrs. Dear students, dear youth, and fight for what you believe in. Fight for democracy. Fight for our exploited and impoverished people. Remember, it is better to live like a lion for one day than live like a jackal for a thousand years. I wish you all success and happiness, my dear daughters and sons of Pakistan.”

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