International Women’s Day 2020: The Rise & Fall of Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007)

Arhama AltafWeb Editor

04th Mar, 2020. 03:48 pm
Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto

Why is International Women’s Day celebrated?

International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8 every year.

International Women’s Day dedicated to honour the achievements of women throughout history and all across the globe.

It is typically a day for women from all different backgrounds and cultures to band together to fight for gender parity and women’s rights.

The RISE and FALL of Benazir Bhutto:

Who Was Benazir Bhutto?

Benazir Bhutto inherited leadership of the PPP after a military coup overthrew her father’s government and won election in 1988.

She become the first female Prime Minister of a Muslim nation.

In 2007, she returned to Pakistan after an extended exile, but, tragically, was killed in a suicide attack.

International Women’s Day: Benazir Bhutto – Early Life

Benazir Bhutto was born on June 21, 1953, in Karachi, Pakistan, the eldest child of former premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

She went on to found the Pakistan People’s Party and serve as the nation’s prime minister (from 1971 to 1977).

After completing her early education in Pakistan, she pursued her higher education in the United States.

Benazir Bhutto

Bhutto 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.

It was then onto the United Kingdom, where she studied at Oxford University from 1973 to 1977, completing a course in international law and diplomacy.

Leader of the PPP

Bhutto returned to Pakistan in 1977 and was placed under house arrest after the military coup led by General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq overthrew her father’s government.

One year after Zia ul-Haq became president in 1978, the elder Bhutto was hanged after his conviction on charges of authorizing the murder of an opponent.

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.Benazir Bhutto

The family insisted he was poisoned, but no charges were brought.

Another brother, Murtaza, died in 1996 in a gun battle with police in Karachi.

She moved to England in 1984, becoming the joint leader in exile of the PPP.

Later, she returned to Pakistan on April 10, 1986, to launch a nationwide campaign for open elections.

She married a wealthy landowner, Asif Ali Zardari, in Karachi on December 18, 1987.

International Women's Day

The couple had three children: son Bilawal and two daughters, Bakhtawar and Aseefa.

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

Bhutto was defeated in the 1990 election, and found herself in court defending herself against several charges of misconduct while in office.

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

While in self-imposed exile in Britain and Dubai, she was convicted in 1999 of corruption and sentenced to three years in prison.

She continued to direct her party from abroad, being re-affirmed as PPP leader in 2002.

Bhutto returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007, after President Musharraf granted her amnesty on all corruption charges.


Bhutto was killed when an assassin fired shots and then blew himself up after an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007.

The attack also killed 28 others and wounded at least another 100.

The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto addressed a rally of thousands of supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, eight miles south of Islamabad.

She died after hitting her head on part of her vehicle’s sunroof.

International Women's Day

President Musharraf said that he had asked a team of investigators from Britain’s Scotland Yard to assist in the investigation into Bhutto’s killing.

She was buried at her family’s mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, the southern province of Sindh.

She was buried alongside her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

The shooting and bombing attack on the charismatic former prime minister plunged Pakistan into turmoil. Pakistan is armed with nuclear weapons and is a key U.S. ally in the war on terrorism.

Furious supporters rampaged through several cities, torching cars, trains and stores in violence that left at least 23 dead.

Benazir Bhutto

On January 2, 2008, Pakistan’s election commission announced that parliamentary elections would be postponed until February 18—a delay of six weeks.

Bhutto reportedly had been planning to give two visiting American lawmakers a 160-page report accusing the Musharraf government of taking steps to rig the January 8 vote.

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