Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto

1953 - 2007 Former Prime Minister of Pakistan

(On 27 December 2007, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was killed while leaving a campaign rally for the PPP at Liaquat National Bagh, after giving a spirited address to Party supporters in the run-up to the January 2008 parliamentary elections. Her body was flown to her hometown of Garhi Khuda Bakhsh in Larkana District, Sindh, and was buried next to her father in the family mausoleum at a ceremony attended by hundreds of thousands of mourners)
Born June 21, 1953, in Karachi, Pakistan

Daughter of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (a political leader and former Prime Minister) and Nusrat Bhutto (former Member of Parliament and Deputy Prime Minister of Pakistan) Married, December 18, 1987 to Asif Ali Zardari (in business, twice elected Member of National Assembly and Senate) Ms 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 then-president Ghulam Ishaq. In 1993 she was re-elected but was again removed in 1996 by then-president Leghari. She went into exile in Dubai in 1998.

She returned to Pakistan on 18 October 2007. She was assassinated on 27 December 2007, after departing a PPP rally in Liaqat Bagh, Rawalpindi.

Children: Mr. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Ms Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari and Ms Aseefa Bhutto Zardari.

Radcliffe College, Harvard University, B.A., 1973;
Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, B.A., 1976;
Graduate study at Oxford in Foreign Service, 1976-77.
Political activist with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan, 1977-84; repeatedly imprisoned and kept under house arrest by the Pakistani government; political exile in London, England, 1984-86; returned to Pakistan in April, 1986; Pakistan Peoples Party, Karachi, Pakistan co-chair, beginning in 1986; After elections held November 1988, invited to form the government, became Prime Minister in 1988 but her government was illegally dismissed in August 1990. She again came to power after her party won a majority in elections held in October 1993. Her government was once again dismissed illegally in November 1996.

Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto is the author of two books "Foreign Policy in Perspective" (1978) and her autobiography, "Daughter of the East" (1989). 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. The most recent being "The Way Out" (1980). 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.

  • Bruno Kreisky Award of Merit in human Rights, 1988.
  • Honorary Phi Beta Kappa Award (1989), presented by Radcliffe College, Harvard University.
  • Highest Moroccan Award "Grand Cordon de Wissam Alaoui"
  • Highest French Award "Grand-croix de la Legion Honneur" (1989)
  • The Noel Foundation Award, 1990 (UNIFEM).
  • Honorary Fellow of Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh - 1990
  • The Gakushuin Honorary Award, Tokyo (1996)
  • Award by the Turkish Independent Industries and Businessmen Association (MUSAID) on account of providing assistance to the people of Bosnia.
  • Golden medal Dragon of Bosnia awarded by President of Bosnia (1996)
  • Key to the city of Los Angeles, presented by the Mayor of Los Angeles (1995)
  • Presidential Medal, Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Science (1995)
  • Medal by University of California at Los Angeles (1995)
  • Honorary Doctorate of Law, L.L.D Harvard University (1989)
  • Honorary Doctorate of Law (Honoris Causa), University of Sindh (1994)
  • Honorary Doctorate from Mendanao State University, Philippines (1995)
  • Honorary Doctorate of Law (Honoris Causa), Peshawar University (1995)
  • Honorary Doctorate of Economics, Gakushuin University, Tokyo (1996)
  • Honorary Fellowship by Lady Margaret Hall, University Oxford, (1989)
  • Honorary Fellowship by St. Catherine College, University of Oxford, (1989)
  • Honorary Professor of the Kyrghyz State National University (1995) Kyrghyzstan.
  • Honorary Professor of Yassavi Kazakh Turkish University, Kazakh-Turkish International Language University, Kazakhstan, 1995.
  • Honorable Member of OHYUKAI, Alumni Association of Gakushuin, conferred by OHYUKAI Tokyo (1996).
  • Awarded the 2000 Millennium Medal of Honor by American Biographical Institute, Inc. in November 1998.
  • Awarded American Academy Award of Achievement in London, October 28, 2000
  • Awarded “World Tolerance Award 2005” by Women World Awards in Leipzig, November 29, 2005
  • Awarded 'International Woman of the Year 2006' by the prominent European Publishing House based in Dubai as part of "Emirates Woman Awards 2006'.
    Nominated Chair of "Muslim Women for Human Rights and Democracy"
    Oslo, Norway, May 6-7, 2007
  • Awarded the prestigious Tipperary International Peace Award for April 25, 2008 (posthumously)
  • Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was posthumously awarded the Service to Humanity Award by the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 1-5 Dec 2010.

  • ‘If I Am Assassinated’ Excerpts from some published news reports about Shaheed Benazir Bhutto's apprehensions and accusations about her possible killers since the terrorist attack on her Karachi rally on October 19, 2007
  • Why the world needs democracy in Pakistan: Dictatorship fuels extremism, which reaches far beyond Pakistan By Benazir Bhutto - Christian Science Monitor: December 9, 2007
  • Bhutto: Time for Musharraf to go CNN, 13 November 2007
  • The present unrest in Pakistan - Benazir Bhutto & David Miliband The Today Programme BBC Radio 4 - 13th November 2007
  • Benazir Bhutto tests Pervez Musharraf’s strength Christina Lamb and Dean Nelson in Islamabad, Sunday Times, London, 11 November 2007
  • Bhutto Fights Back By Ron Moreau and Fasih Ahmed | Newsweek Web Exclusive Nov 7, 2007 | Updated: 2:15 p.m. ET Nov 7, 2007
  • Musharraf’s Martial Plan By BENAZIR BHUTTO - November 7, 2007
  • Commentary: No time for dictatorship By Benazir Bhutto - November 4, 2007
  • Benazir Bhutto: ‘We want to save Pakistan’ The former prime minister details attempt on her life and why she returned TODAY October 22, 2007
  • Interview of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to IPS October 10, 2007
  • When I Return to Pakistan By Benazir Bhutto Washington Post, September 20, 2007
  • Transcript A Conversation With Benazir Bhutto New York, NY - August 15, 2007
  • Pakistan at the Crossroads – Part -II August 9, 2007
  • Pakistan at the Crossroads – Part -I August 7, 2007
  • Late Edition W/Wolf Blitzer Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto's Interview to CNN (Text format) August 5, 2007 http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2007/08/07/blitzer.bhutto.interview.cnn (video Format)
  • The polarizing ex-leader could be a volatile addition to the political crisis, June 13, 2007
  • Democracy for Pakistan June 8, 2007
  • Bhutto Sees Return to Pakistan Aiding Democracy Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto's Transcript for NPR interview - June 4, 2007
  • No grand return for Pakistan's Bhutto Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto's interview to Christian Science Monitor By Suzanna Koster - May 17, 2007
  • Destiny’s Daughter The Times Magazine - April 28, 2007
  • Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto warns that judicial crisis in Pakistan could spin out of control March 18, 2007
  • Dictatorship unable to enforce government writ German daily 'Junge Welt' - December 19, 2006
  • Interview to Newsweek: I Worry for Pakistan's Future: Benazir November 16, 2006
  • Interview of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to Hindustan Times - July 19, 2006
  • Hoping against hope Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto's Interview to 'THE DAWN' July 16, 2006
  • The Rich Have Fun While the Ship Sinks A Budget Critique - June 18, 2006
  • Quaid-e-Awam -- The Leader of the People by Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto April 4, 2006
  • Pakistan and the War Against Terror December 10, 2004
  • Asia Times ONLINE EXCLUSIVE November 3, 2004
  • Major Military Changes in Pakistan October 2004
  • Political Review Aspenia (of Italy) 23 October 2004
  • Age of Terrorism and Poverty August 05, 2004
  • Gender Bias June 26, 2004
  • Who Killed Munawar Suhrawardy? June 18, 2004
  • The Musharraf Regime Toeing on PPP Agenda Ms Bhutto's interview for online journal Indiaonestop.com - May 06, 2004
  • Quaid-e-Awam - The Ideal Leader April 4, 2004
  • Mohtarma Bhutto in BBC programme January 12, 2004
  • The Way Out of Pakistan's Constitutional Crisis December 2, 2004
  • The Difference Between Right and Wrong September 21, 2003
  • New Regional Alignments September 12, 2003
  • The General is in a Constitutional Crisis August 30, 2003
  • Benazir to Summon Top Pakistani Generals for Cross Examination in her Trial The South Tribune - August 10-16, 2003
  • Pakistan's rigged elections must be rejected February 1, 2003
  • A general's joy 'The News' - January 17, 2003
  • Benazir Bhutto claims Opposition majority, states Coalition Terms Special SAT Report - Issue No 17, Nov 11-17, 2002
  • Ms Bhutto's Interview to ARY TV Fox News Network - Interview With Benazir Bhutto SHOW: FOX HANNITY & COLMES - September 23, 2002
  • The democratization of Pakistan is our best chance of avoiding a nuclear war over Kashmir - August 6, 2002
  • The death of a minister - July 24, 2002
  • Pakistan's Poor Results Washington Post Editorial - July 17, 2002
  • Terror in Karachi - May 24, 2002
  • The Smell of War - May 24, 2002
  • East and West: Can the two meet? - April 11, 2002
  • Harbinger of democracy in Pakistan - April 4, 2002
  • Musharaf in Japan - March 20, 2002
  • Attention! About Turn - January 21, 2002
  • Musharraf's three awesome assignments - DAWN - 24 December 2001
  • Interview of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Ralph Joseph-Mirani, United Press International Toronto, Canada - 19 November 2001
  • Democracy vs. Terror - Islamic Countries Deserve Freedom Too - September 25, 2001
  • Los Angeles Times 'Reproduces three year old interview of Ms Bhutto vindicating her vision' - September 25, 2001
  • The Terror Attack ‘The Nation’ September 25, 2001
  • Restore Pakistani Democracy The Washington Post - September 24, 2001
  • Megawati - Is She the One to Solve Indonesia's Mega Problems? 'The Nation' - August 9, 2001
  • Interview of Ms Bhutto with Saudi Gazette - July 31, 2001
  • Declarations are difficult for generals - 18 July 2001
  • The Agra Summit - 16 July 2001
  • INDO-PAK SUMMIT 2001 - 12 July 2001
  • Military Regime Has Failed To Revive Pakistan Economy - 10 July 2001
  • The Dynamics of a Political Marriage - 9 July 2001
  • The general as president - The Dawn - June 28, 2001
  • Guardian Interview: Musharraf on Ms Benazir Bhutto and what the people say; A Prayer for Justice - February 25, 2001
  • I remain the single most important political force in the country The Guardian (London, UK) - By Luke Harding - January 30, 2001
  • The Security Apparatus Has Run Amok Ms Benazir Bhutto - by Syed Ali Dayan Hasan in London Monthly ‘Herald’ - January 2001
  • Benazir lashes out at ISI, Foreign Office May 2, 2000
  • Benazir Bhutto's Interview with 'The News' December 28, 2000
  • Might can crush, it cannot conquer - October 17, 2000
  • The Rise of the Intelligence Officer and his Friends August 28, 2000
  • Still Looking Eastwards - July 23, 2000
  • Benazir hopes for victory if polls are fair Interview to Chicago Tribune - June 18, 2000
  • 'Benazir suggests remedies' - June 3, 2000
  • The Nawaz Conviction - April 18, 2000
  • The Quest for Peace - February 01, 1999
  • Government of Defaulters, For Defaulters, By Defaulters - December 26, 1998
  • Kargil biggest blunder in Pak history: Benazir The News - July 22, 1999
  • Benazir Bhutto for Pursuing 'Open Borders' Policy - 15 July 1999
  • Indian War Games Danger to Pakistan - November 18, 1998
  • An Article for Los Angeles Times on INDIA'S NUCLEAR TEST - May 15, 1998
  • National Survival - PPP's Proposed Alternative Agenda - November 16, 1998
  • A Quiet Revolution - November 3, 1998
  • South Asian nuclear parity opens door for resolving Kashmir - June 7, 1998
  • Afghan Arms Kick-Backs Indian War Games Danger to Pakistan - October 21, 1997
  • Script of an interview With Guylaine Idoux of French Magazine 'Elle' - 13 September 1997
  • BBC Talk Show - 7 August, 1997
  • Ms Benazir Bhutto Defends PPP's Power Policy Karachi - July 28, 1997
  • Pipeline Dreams one of the factors which led to throwing Ms Bhutto out of power - The Herald June 1997


  • Joint Session of US Congress (1989)
  • World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland (1994)
  • French National Assembly (1994)
  • Parliament, Republic of Ireland, (1994)
  • UN Conference on Population Planning, Cairo (1994)
  • UN Commission for Human Rights, Geneva (1994)
  • Fortune Global Forum, Singapore (1995)
  • Princeton University, USA (1995)
  • School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (1995)
  • Women Conference, Beijing (1995)

NARRATIVE

Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the first woman ever to lead a modern Islamic nation, did not plan to be a politician. She became active in politics after her father, the late Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was ousted from office in a 1977 military coup and later executed. Having sworn to carry her father's political flame, Benazir Bhutto overcame government persecution and a lack of political experience, leading her Pakistan Peoples Party to victory in the November 1988 and October 1993 parliamentary elections. As Prime Minister, Bhutto has been praised for moving swiftly to restore civil liberties and political freedom, suspended under military rule. During her terms of office, she has faced enormous challenges in governing a poor, politically fractious, and ethnically diverse nation.

Bhutto discusses her personal life and political career in her autobiography "Daughter of Destiny", which was published in 1989 to favorable reviews. Born into a wealthy landholding family with a tradition of political activism in southeastern Sindh province, Bhutto enjoyed a privileged childhood and went on to study political science and philosophy at Radcliffe College and Oxford University. She excelled academically and planned to work with her father's government as a professional diplomat upon her return to Pakistan in June 1977. Read More

Political activist with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

  • 1977-84 Repeatedly imprisoned and kept under house arrest by the Pakistani government; political exile in London, England.
  • 1988 She became Prime Minister
  • 1990 Her government was illegally dismissed in August.
  • 1993 She again came to power after her party won a majority in elections held in October...
  • 1984 Returned to Pakistan in April.
  • 1986 Pakistan Peoples Party, Karachi, Pakistan co-chair.