Benazir Bhutto
12th & 16th Prime Minister of Pakistan
Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto was a Pakistani democratic socialist who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996. She was the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a former prime minister of Pakistan and the founder of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which she led.
Benazir Bhutto's personal information overview.
News abour Benazir Bhutto from around the web
The Morphology Of Disappearances In Pakistan
Huffington Post - about 1 month
Over the past few days, five persons have gone missing in Pakistan. Nothing should be considered unusual about these particular disappearances since people go missing for various reasons across the country; ranging from separatists in Balochistan, political workers in the largest metropolitan city of Karachi, children from the city of culture Lahore, anti-military Islamist activists from KPK and Hindu girls from rural Sindh province. Many of them do eventually turn up, some with broken bodies and souls, marred with torture marks, whilst others as dead bodies, with execution style bullet holes. Then there are those "lucky ones", found alive and intact, such as the Hindu girls who return as having suddenly embraced Islam out of their free will since their disappearances, married to their abductors (aka saviours), or vice versa, depending on which angle one views their ordeal. And that is the key behind disappearances in Pakistan; a matter of perception. What makes these missing person ...
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Huffington Post article
Asieh Namdar On Moving Beyond The Headlines
Huffington Post - 3 months
With the goal of harnessing the untapped potential of Iranian-Americans, and to build the capacity of the Iranian diaspora in effecting positive change in the U.S. and around the world, the West Asia Council has launched a series of interviews that explore the personal and professional backgrounds of prominent Iranian-Americans who have made seminal contributions to their fields of endeavour. We examine lives and journeys that have led to significant achievements in the worlds of science, technology, finance, medicine, law, the arts and numerous other endeavors. Our latest interviewee is Asieh Namdar. Asieh Namdar is an Anchor for CCTV America in Washington, D.C. She comes to CCTV with more than 20 years of experience at CNN, where she served as an anchor for CNNI, a senior writer for HLN, and a contributor to Namdar has written and reported on many international stories, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the tsunami disaster in Asiain 2004, the disputed ...
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Huffington Post article
Gender Equity in the Workforce: A Global Issue
Huffington Post - 5 months
When Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton stepped on to the stage in Philadelphia at the Democratic National Convention this summer, a slick graphic overhead showed the shattering of a glass ceiling. It was a dramatic, showy entrance that underscored the significance of a woman earning the Presidential nomination of a major political party for the first time in American history. But the question remains, is the proverbial glass ceiling actually broken here in the U.S. and abroad? Unfortunately, the data suggests we still have a ways to go. Research shows that there is a scarcity of women in leadership roles in the American workplace. Consider these data from the Center for American Progress and the American Association of Colleges and Universities: Academia: While women are earning almost 60% of undergraduate degrees and 60% of all master’s degrees, women make up only 26% of college and university presidents 34% of senior administrators at research universities, and only 30% o ...
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Huffington Post article
How Pakistan Abandoned Its Minorities
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Photo Source: Since its creation in 1947, Pakistan's political leaders and scholars have constantly debated the degree to which their country should refer to Islam as the source of national identity. There have been various justifications why Pakistan had to be carved out of the United India. The religious lobby argues that Pakistan was supposed to be a country for the Muslims where they could live their lives according to the "true teachings of Islam", while the tiny faction of the liberals insists that the country was meant to be secular. Founding fathers espousing these divergent points of view were soon caught fighting about the role of Islam in the fledgling Muslim state. Islam became such an emotive topic in Pakistani politics that political and military leaders used it alike to manipulate public opinion and make electoral gains. Religious minorities ended up as the worst victims of this flagrant use of religion for political gains. Ultimately, this led to disa ...
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Huffington Post article
Pakistan Is Not the Place Americans Think It Is
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Recent news about the Pakistani origin of the San Bernardino's terrorists has shocked and saddened the Pakistani American community. In an environment where Muslims face a backlash after every terrorist attack at home or abroad, being from Pakistan is no joke these days. Thanks to media stereotypes of Muslims, most Islamic nations including Pakistan get painted with a very broad brush, one where bearded extremists and oppressed women reign supreme. That's the reason why I wrote my book Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage from Pakistan: to showcase some of the lesser known but astonishingly vibrant and beautiful aspects of Pakistani people and culture. Granted that it's impossible to learn about an entire nation in one blog post, but to get started, here are some ways Pakistan is not the place Americans think it is: Pakistan has an educated and liberal upper class. Unfortunately most images of education in Pakistan focus on children sitting on floors and studying on rickety de ...
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Huffington Post article
Hillary Clinton: Judge by Gender, Not Character
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Hillary Clinton's apparent rendition of Martin Luther King's celebrated lines in his I have a Dream address is, "I have a dream that one day women will be judged by their gender, not by the content of their character." During last Tuesday's CNN Democratic debate, Ms. Clinton clucked that the distinguishing feature of her would-be presidency as opposed to President Barack Obama's would be her female anatomy as opposed to his male version. Anderson cooper asked: "Secretary Clinton, how would you not be a third term of President Obama?" Ms. Clinton answered: "Well, I think that's pretty obvious. I think being the first woman president would be quite a change from the presidents we've had up until this point, including President Obama." She did not articulate any perspectives or aptitudes that women bring to political problems that men do not. She did not argue that any past or present female political figures exhibited talents or accomplishments that male politicians have not. ...
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Huffington Post article
Why Do Some Pakistanis Hate Malala So Much?
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Three years ago today, a girl took a bullet in the head on the order of a man from the same tribe as her. Elsewhere, the story goes a little differently. Conspiracy theories about Malala Yousafzai litter the web, some dropped by those who believe them, others by those explaining them.    I won't support her ever in my life.will you support Malala ??#LetsRestartGoNawazGo — سمیرا جمیل (@real_sumaira) September 29, 2015 With her documentary freshly released even in Karachi, Malala is back in the spotlight, trailing stories behind her. On Twitter, some Pakistanis are dredging up an old tale: of a CIA puppet involved in a drama to destabilize Pakistan's tribal northwest.  To understand the theory, it helps to consider how American intervention in Pakistan has changed the fabric of the country. Malala conspiracy theories are traded in urban circles, but they thrive in Pakistan's tribal areas, where the U.S. has dropped hundreds of drones ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Why Do Some Pakistanis Hate Malala So Much?
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Three years ago today, a girl took a bullet in the head on the order of a man from the same tribe as her. Elsewhere, the story goes a little differently. Conspiracy theories about Malala Yousafzai litter the web, some dropped by those who believe them, others by those explaining them.    I won't support her ever in my life.will you support Malala ??#LetsRestartGoNawazGo — سمیرا جمیل (@real_sumaira) September 29, 2015 With her documentary freshly released even in Karachi, Malala is back in the spotlight, trailing stories behind her. On Twitter, some Pakistanis are dredging up an old tale: of a CIA puppet involved in a drama to destabilize Pakistan's tribal northwest.  To understand the theory, it helps to consider how American intervention in Pakistan has changed the fabric of the country. Malala conspiracy theories are traded in urban circles, but they thrive in Pakistan's tribal areas, where the U.S. has dropped hundreds of drones in the ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Why Do Some Pakistanis Hate Malala So Much?
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Three years ago today, a girl took a bullet in the head on the order of a man from the same tribe as her. Elsewhere, the story goes a little differently. Conspiracy theories about Malala Yousafzai litter the web, some dropped by those who believe them, others by those explaining them.    I won't support her ever in my life.will you support Malala ??#LetsRestartGoNawazGo — سمیرا جمیل (@real_sumaira) September 29, 2015 With her documentary freshly released even in Karachi, Malala is back in the spotlight, trailing stories behind her. On Twitter, some Pakistanis are dredging up an old tale: of a CIA puppet involved in a drama to destabilize Pakistan's tribal northwest.  To understand the theory, it helps to consider how American intervention in Pakistan has changed the fabric of the country. Malala conspiracy theories are traded in urban circles, but they thrive in Pakistan's tribal areas, where the U.S. has dropped hundreds of drones in the ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Are these the world's most hated airports?
Daily Mail (UK) - almost 2 years
While Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport, in Pakistan, is often cited as the worst in the world, there are a surprising number of complaints form travellers about LAX in Los Angeles.
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Daily Mail (UK) article
Tahira Mazhar Ali: Women’s rights campaigner who was the mother of Tariq Ali and acted as mentor to Benazir Bhutto
The Independent - almost 2 years
When Tahira Mazhar Ali, Pakistan’s pre-eminent women’s rights activist, was a teenager, she encountered the man who would go on to found the country. In 1941 Muhammad Ali Jinnah went to see her father Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, Prime Minister of the then undivided Punjab, at his office on the Upper Mall in Lahore. “I know all about you,” Jinnah said reproachfully when introduced to her. “You prefer Jawaharlal to me.”
Article Link:
The Independent article
Anti-graft body opposes Zardari's acquittal in cases
The Times Of India - about 3 years
The cases against the Pakistan People's Party leader date back to the time when his slain wife Benazir Bhutto was the premier.     
Article Link:
The Times Of India article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Benazir Bhutto
  • 2007
    In October 2007, Benazir returned to Karachi as her campaign bus came under-attack leaving dozens of her supporters dead, while she remained safe.
    More Details Hide Details Benazir was assassinated later that year in a similar attack while leaving a campaign event in Rawalpindi. She was buried at the Bhutto family mausoleum in rural Sindh. Benazir left a deeply polarising legacy: her career has been celebrated as a triumph for women in the Muslim world and for the global fight against Islamic extremism. At the same time, she is accused of corruption and bad governance. Her death was followed by the victory of People's Party led by her husband, Asif, and son Bilawal, with the former becoming Pakistan's president in 2008. The Guardian, writing about Benazir, termed her "(both) a victim, as well as in part a culprit, of its (Pakistan's) chronic instability". Writing her obituary, 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, including Daughter of the East and Reconciliation.
    She returned to Pakistan in 2007 after she was granted amnesty on corruption charges as part of the a controversial agreement.
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    On 27 December 2007, Benazir Bhutto was killed while leaving a campaign rally for the PPP at Liaquat National Bagh in the run-up to the January 2008 parliamentary elections.
    More Details Hide Details 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. The cause of death, whether it was gunshot wounds, the explosion, or a combination thereof, was not fully determined until February 2008. Eventually, Scotland Yard investigators concluded that it was due to blunt force trauma to the head as she was tossed by the explosion. She was buried next to her father in the Bhutto family mausoleum, Garhi Khuda Baksh, her family graveyard near Larkana. The events leading up to Benazir Bhutto's death correlated with the protest in 1992. In December, Bhutto met with Nawaz Sharif and expressed frustration with their government. In response, a rally was conducted in Rawalpindi, the same place as 1992.
    On 8 December 2007, three unidentified gunmen stormed Bhutto's PPP office in the southern western province of Balochistan.
    More Details Hide Details Three of Bhutto's supporters were killed.
    On 4 December 2007, Bhutto met with Nawaz Sharif to publicise 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.
    More Details Hide Details 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 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 16 December.
    More Details Hide Details 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 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.
    More Details Hide Details The following day, the Pakistani government announced that Bhutto's arrest warrant had been withdrawn and that she was free to travel and to appear at public rallies. However, leaders of other opposition political parties remained prohibited from speaking in public.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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."
    En route to a rally in Karachi on 18 October 2007, two explosions occurred shortly after Bhutto had landed and left Jinnah International Airport.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
    After eight years in exile in Dubai and London, Bhutto returned to Karachi on 18 October 2007, to prepare for the 2008 national elections.
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    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 28 September 2007, with reporter Wolf Blitzer of CNN, she readily admitted the possibility of attack on herself.
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    On 6 October 2007, Musharraf won a parliamentary election to become President.
    More Details Hide Details However, the Supreme Court ruled that no winner could be officially proclaimed until it finished deciding whether it was legal for Musharraf to run for President while an 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.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The Ordinance was signed 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.
    Musharraf prepared to switch to a strictly civilian role by resigning as commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He still faced other legal obstacles to running for re-election. On 2 October 2007, Musharraf named Lt. Gen. Ashfaq Kayani vice-chief of the army starting 8 October 2007, so that with the intent that if Musharraf won the presidency and resigned his military post, Kayani would become head of the army.
    More Details Hide Details Meanwhile, Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed stated that officials agreed to grant Benazir Bhutto amnesty from pending corruption charges. She has emphasised a smooth transition and return to civilian rule and asked Pervez Musharraf to shed his uniform.
    On 17 September 2007, Bhutto accused Musharraf's allies of pushing Pakistan into crisis by their refusal to permit democratic reforms and power-sharing.
    More Details Hide Details A nine-member panel of Supreme Court judges deliberated on six petitions (including one from Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan's largest Islamic group) asserting that Musharraf should 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. Farhatullah Babar of Bhutto's party 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."
    On 1 September 2007, Bhutto vowed to return to Pakistan "very soon", regardless of whether or not she reached a power-sharing deal with Musharraf before then.
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    On 29 August 2007, Bhutto announced that Musharraf would step down as chief of the army.
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    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 for Musharraf to retain the Presidency with Bhutto as Prime Minister.
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    In July 2007, some of Bhutto's frozen funds were released.
    More Details Hide Details Bhutto continued to face significant charges of corruption.
    On 11 July 2007, in an article about the possible aftermath of the Red Mosque incident, the Associated Press quoted Bhutton saying "I'm glad there was no cease-fire with the militants in the mosque because cease-fires simply embolden the militants."
    More Details Hide Details This assessment was received with dismay in Pakistan, as reportedly hundreds of young students had burned to death. The remains were untraceable and cases were being heard in the Pakistani supreme court, as a missing persons issue. This and subsequent support for Musharraf led Elder Bhutto's comrades like Khar to criticise 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 capitalise on its influential CEC statesman, Aitzaz Ahsan, the chief Barrister for the Chief Justice, in successful restoration. Rather, he was seen as a rival of Bhutto, and isolated on that issue with PPP. The Bhutto-led PPP secured the highest number of votes (28.4%) and won 80 seats (23%) in the national assembly during the October 2002 general elections. Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N) managed to win only 18 seats. 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.
    But Musharraf said he would not allow her to enter the country before general election, scheduled for late 2007 or early 2008.
    More Details Hide Details Still, speculation circulated that she might have been offered the office of Prime Minister again. At the same time, the US appeared to be pushing for a deal in which Musharraf would remain president, but step down as head of the military, and either Bhutto or one of her nominees became prime minister.
    In mid-2007, Bhutto declared her intention to return to Pakistan by the end of the year.
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    She rebuked comments made by Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq in May 2007 regarding the knighthood of Salman Rushdie, noting that he was calling for the assassination of foreign citizens.
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    Bhutto appeared as a panellist on the BBC TV programme Question Time in the United Kingdom in March 2007.
    More Details Hide Details She also appeared on the BBC current affairs programme Newsnight on several occasions.
    On 27 January 2007, she was invited by the United States to speak to President George W. Bush and Congressional and State Department officials.
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    However, in 2007, she took an anti-Taliban stance, and condemned terrorist acts allegedly committed by the Taliban and their supporters.
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  • 2006
    At the request of Pakistan, Interpol issued a request in 2006 for the arrest of Bhutto and her husband on corruption charges.
    More Details Hide Details The Bhuttos questioned the legality of the requests in a letter to Interpol.
    It was not until 2006 that the Zina ordinance was finally repealed by a Presidential Ordinance issued by Pervez Musharraf in July 2006.
    More Details Hide Details Bhutto was an active and founding member of the Council of Women World Leaders, a network of current and former prime ministers and presidents. Bhutto was an economist by profession; therefore during her terms as prime minister, she herself took charge of the Ministry of Finance. Bhutto sought to improve the country's economy which was declining as time was passing. Benazir disagreed with her father's nationalization and socialist economics. Soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Benazir attempted to privatize major industries that were nationalized in the 1970s. Bhutto promised to end the nationalisation programme and to carry out the industrialisation programme by means other than state intervention. But controversially Bhutto did not carry out the denationalization programme or liberalization of the economy during her first government. No nationalized units were privatized, few economic regulations were reviewed. Pakistan suffered a currency crisis when the government failed to arrest the 30% fall in the value of the Pakistani Rupee from ₨. 21 to ₨.30 compared to the United States dollar. Soon economic progress became her top priority but her investment and industrialisation programs faced major setbacks due to conceptions formed by investors based upon her People's Party nationalisation program in the 1970s. By the 1990s, Khan and Bhutto's government had also ultimately lost the currency war with the Indian Rupee which beat the value of Pakistan rupee for the first time in the 1970s. Bhutto's denationalisation program also suffered from many political setbacks, as many of her government members were either directly or indirectly involved with the government corruption in major government-owned industries, and her appointed government members allegedly sabotaged her efforts to privatise the industries.
  • 2004
    She and the children were reunited with her husband in December 2004 after more than five years.
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  • 2002
    Therefore, in 2002 President Musharraf amended Pakistan's constitution to ban prime ministers from serving more than two terms.
    More Details Hide Details This disqualified Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif from holding the office again and was widely considered to attack them directly. While she lived in Dubai Bhutto cared for her three children and her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. She also travelled to give lectures in the U.S. and kept in touch with PPP supporters.
    Her image became more positive and the PPP seemed likely to return to government, perhaps as soon the 2002 elections.
    More Details Hide Details Amid fears of Bhutto's return, a threatened Musharraf released from imprisonment many members of the liberal-secular force MQM who had held beeb as political prisoners. Musharraf saw MQM as a vital political weapon to stave off and hold back the PPP. But MQM support was limited to Karachi at the time, and very lacking in the urban areas of Sindh, which remained a critical electoral threat for Musharraf.
  • 2000
    Mossack Fonseca had declined to do business with Bhutto's first company, similarly-named Petrofine FZC, established in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE). in 2000.
    More Details Hide Details Petrofine was "politically sensitive" they said, and "declined to accept Mrs Bhutto as a client." A United Nations committee chaired by former head of the US Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, concluded in a 2005 investigation into abuses of the oil-for-food program that Petrofine FZC had paid US$2 million to the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein to obtain US $115–145 million in oil contracts. In 2006, the Pakistani National Accountability Bureau (NAB) accused Bhutto, Malik and Ali Jaffery of owning Petrofine. Bhutto and the PPP denied this. In April 2006 an NAB court froze assets owned in Pakistan and elsewhere by Bhutto and Zardari. The $1.5 billion in assets were acquired through corrupt practices, the NAB said, and noting that the 1997 Swiss charges of criminal money-laundering were still in litigation. Once a populist, by the end of the 1990s, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had become widely unpopular, and following the military coup, Sharif's credibility, image and career were destroyed by Musharraf who formed the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) (PMLQ) in order to banish the former prime minister's party support across the country. The PMLQ consisted of those who were initially part of Sharif's party but then switched to Musharraf to avoid persecution and jail. 2000 brought positive change for Bhutto, who became widely unpopular in Pakistan in 1996.
  • 1999
    Bhutto was highly confident that her party would secure an overwhelming victory in the coming Senate elections in 1999, due to the prime minister's widening widening unpopularity.
    More Details Hide Details Controversially, when the Pakistani armed forced initiated a coup d'état, Bhutto neither criticised nor issued any comment, remaining silent on supporting General Musharraf, as Dalrymple notes. She continued to support Musharraf's coordinated arrests of the supporters and staff of Sharif. Musharraf destroyed Sharif's political presence in Sindh and Kashmir provinces. Many political offices in Sharif's constituency or district were forcibly closed and many sympathisers were jailed. In 2002, Bhutto and the MQM made a side-line deal with Musharraf that allows both to continue underground political activities in Sindh and Kashmir, and to fill the gap after Musharraf had destroyed Sharif's presence in the both provinces. The effects of the arrests was seen clearly in the 2008 parliamentary elections, when Nawaz Sharif failed to secure support back in those two provinces.
    However, 1999 would brought dramatic changes for Bhutto as well as the entire country.
    More Details Hide Details Bhutto criticized Sharif for violating the Armed Forces's code of conduct when he illegally appointed General Pervez Musharraf as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan also criticised the Prime Minister. In early 1999 Sharif enjoyed widespread popularity as he tried to make peace with India. However, all this changed when Pakistan became enmeshed with an unpopular and undeclared war with India. Known as the Kargil war, the conflict brought international embarrassment upon Pakistan, and the prime minister's prestige and public image were destroyed in a matter of two months. Bhutto criticised the prime minister, and called the Kargil War, "Pakistan's greatest blunder". Ali Kuli Khan, Director-General of ISI at that time, also publicly criticised the prime minister and labelled the fighting "a disaster bigger than East Pakistan". Religious and liberal forces joined Bhutto in condemng Sharif for the conflict, and she made a tremendous effort to destroy his prestige and credibility, says historian William Dalrymple. Then in August 1999, an event completely shattered the remains of Sharif's image and support. Two Indian Air Force MiG-21 fighters shot down a Pakistani Navy reconnaissance plane, killing 16 naval officers. Bhutto criticised Sharif for having failed to gather any support from the navy. The Armed Forces began to criticise the prime minister for causing the military disasters. Bhutto's approval ratings were favourable and the Armed Forces chiefs remained sympathetic towards Bhutto as she continued to criticise the now-unpopular Sharif.
    This was the move that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (elected in 1997) did repeat in 1999, when Nawaz Sharif had deposed General Jehangir Karamat after developing serious disagreements on the issues of national security.
    More Details Hide Details Criticism against Benazir Bhutto came from the powerful political spectrum of the Punjab Province and the Kashmir Province who opposed Benazir Bhutto, particularly the nationalisation issue that led the lost of Punjab's privatised industries under the hands of her government. Bhutto blamed this opposition for the destabilisation of Pakistan. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Jehangir Karamat at one point intervened in the conflict between President and the Prime Minister, and urged Benazir Bhutto to focus on good governance and her ambitious programme of making the country into a welfare state, but the misconduct of her cabinet ministers continued and the corruption which she was unable to struck it down with a full force. Her younger brother's death had devastating effect on Benazir's image and her political career that shrunk her and her party's entire credibility. At one point, Chairman of Joint Chiefs General Jehangir Karamat noted that:
  • 1998
    A 1998 New York Times (NYT) investigative report claims that Pakistani investigators have documents that outine a network of bank accounts, all linked to the family's lawyer in Switzerland, naming Asif Zardari as the principal shareholder.
    More Details Hide Details According to the NYT article, documents released by the French authorities indicate that Zardari offered exclusive rights to Dassault, a French aircraft manufacturer, to replace the aging fighter jets of the Indian Air Force in exchange for a 5% commission to be paid to a Swiss corporation he controlled. The article also said that a Dubai company received an exclusive license to import gold into Pakistan, for which it paid more than $10 million into Zardari's Dubai-based Citibank accounts. The owner of the Dubai company denied making the payments and said the documents were forged.
    It was another political setback for Bhutto and her image gradually declined in 1998.
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    Bhutto acted as Leader of the Opposition despite living in Dubai, and worked to enhance her public image while supporting public reforms. In 1998, soon after India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests, Bhutto publicly called for Pakistan to begin its own nuclear testing programme, rallying and pressuring Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to make this decision.
    More Details Hide Details Bhutto learned from sources close to Sharif that he was reluctant to carry out nuclear testing. Therefore, she felt, her public call to test should increase her popularity. However, the strategy backfired—Nawaz indeed authorised and ordered the scientists from PAEC and KRL to perform the tests.
  • 1997
    Benazir Bhutto faced wide public disapproval after the corruption cases became public public, and this was clearly seen in Bhutto's defeat in the 1997 parliamentary elections.
    More Details Hide Details Bhutto left for Dubai soon afterwards taking her three children with her, while her husband was set for trial.
  • 1996
    On 4 November 1996, Bhutto's government was dismissed by President Leghari primarily because of corruption and Murtaza's death, who used the Eighth Amendment discretionary powers to dissolve the government.
    More Details Hide Details Benazir was surprised when she discovered that it was not the military who had dismissed her but her own hand-picked puppet President who had used the power to dismiss her. She turned to the Supreme Court hoping for gaining Leghari's actions unconstitutional. But the Supreme Court justified and affirmed President Leghari's dismissal in a 6–1 ruling. Many military leaders who were close to Prime minister rather than the President, did not wanted Benazir Bhutto's government to fall, as they resisted the Nawaz Sharif's conservatism. When President Leghari, through public media, discovered that General Kakar (Chief of Army Staff), General Khattak (Chief of Air Staff), and Admiral Haq (Chief of Naval Staff) had been backing Benazir to come back in the government; President Leghari aggressively responded by dismissing the entire military leadership by bringing the pro-western democracy views but neutral military leadership that would supervise the upcoming elections.
    On 20 July 1996, Qazi Hussain Ahmed of Jamaat e Islami announced to start protests against government alleging corruption.
    More Details Hide Details Qazi Hussain resigned from senate on 27 September and announced to start long march against Benazir government. Protest started on 27 October 1996 by Jamaat e Islami and opposition parties.
    In 1996, the major civil–military scandal became internationally and nationally known when her spouse Zardari was linked with then-navy chief and former Admiral Mansurul Haq.
    More Details Hide Details Known as Agosta class scandal, many of higher naval admirals and government officials of both French and Pakistan governments were accused of getting heavy commissions while the deal was disclosed to sell this sensitive submarine technology to Pakistan Navy.
    On 20 September 1996, in a controversial police encounter, Murtaza Bhutto was shot dead near his residence along with six other party activists.
    More Details Hide Details As the news reached all of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto hurriedly returned to Karachi, and an emergency was proclaimed in the entire province. Benazir Bhutto's limo was stoned by angered PPP members when she tried to visit Murtaza's funeral ceremonies. Her brother's death had crushed their mother, and she was immediately admitted to the local hospital after learning that her son had been killed. At Murtaza's funeral, Nusrat accused Benazir and Zardari of being responsible, and vowed to pursue prosecution. President Farooq Leghari, who dismissed the Bhutto government seven weeks after Murtaza's death, also suspected Benazir and Zardari's involvement. Several of Pakistan's leading newspapers alleged that Zardari wanted his brother-in-law out of the way because of Murtaza's activities as head of a breakaway faction of the PPP. In all, after this incident, Benazir Bhutto lost all support from Sindh Province. Public opinion later turned against her, with many believing that her spouse was involved in the murder, a claim her spouse strongly rejected.
    In 1996, the Bhutto family suffered another tragedy in Sindh Province, Benazir Bhutto's stronghold and political rival.
    More Details Hide Details Murtaza Bhutto, Benazir's younger brother, was controversially and publicly shot down in a police encounter in Karachi. Since 1989, Murtaza and Benazir had a series of disagreements regarding the PPP's policies and Murtaza's opposition towards Benazir's operations against the Urdu-speaking class. Murtaza also developed serious disagreement with Benazir's husband, Zardari, and unsuccessfully attempted to remove his influence in the government. Benazir and Murtaza's mother, Nusrat, sided with Murtaza which also dismayed the daughter. In a controversial interview, Benazir declared that Pakistan only needed one Bhutto, not two, though she denied giving or passing any comments. Her younger brother increasingly made it difficult for her to run the government after he raised voices against Benazir's alleged corruption. Alone in Sindh, Benazir lost the support of the province to her younger brother. At the political campaign, Murtaza demanded party elections inside the PPP, which according to Zardari, Benazir would have lost due to Nusrat backing Murtaza and many workers inside the party being willing to see Murtaza as the country's Prime minister as well as the chair of the party. More problems arose when Abdullah Shah Lakiyari, Chief Minister of Sindh, and allegedly her spouse created disturbances in Murtaza's political campaign.
    By 1996, all of the dissident officers were either jailed or shot dead by the Pakistan Army and a report was submitted to the Prime minister.
    More Details Hide Details General Kuli Khan and General Karamat received wide appreciation from the prime minister and were decorated with the civilian decorations and award by her.
    Under her government, Pakistan had recognised the Taliban regime as legitimate government in Afghanistan, allowing the Taliban to open an embassy in Islamabad. In 1996, the newly appointed Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef presented her diplomatic credentials while he paying a visit to her.
    More Details Hide Details Other authors also wrote extensively on Bhutto's directives towards Taliban, according to one author, that it was later founded and became a historical fact that it was Bhutto, a Western-educated woman, who set in motion the events leading to the September 11 attacks in the United States.
    1996 was crucial for Bhutto's policy on Afghanistan when Pakistan-backed extremely religious group Taliban took power in Kabul in September.
    More Details Hide Details She continued her father's policy on Afghanistan taking aggressive measures to curb the anti-Pakistan sentiments in Afghanistan. During this time, many in the international community at the time, including the United States government, viewed the Taliban as a group that could stabilise Afghanistan and enable trade access to the Central Asian Republics, according to author Steve Coll. He claims that her government provided military and financial support for the Taliban, even sending a small unit of the Pakistan Army into Afghanistan. Benazir had approved the appointment of Lieutenant-General Naseem Rana who she affectionately referred to him as "Georgy Zhukov"; and had reported to her while providing strategic support to Taliban. During her regime, Benazir Bhutto's government had controversially supported the hardline Taliban, and many of her government officials were providing financial assistance to the Taliban. Fazal-ur-Rehman, a right-wing cleric, had a traditionally deep influence on Bhutto as he convinced and later assisted her to help the regime of Taliban she established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. In a reference written by American scholar, Steve Coll in Ghost Wars, he dryly put it: "Benazir Bhutto was suddenly the matron of a new Afghan faction—the Taliban."
    However, it was the Admiral's large-scale corruption, sponsored by her husband Asif Zardari, that shrunk the credibility of Benazir Bhutto by the end of 1996 that led to end of her government after all.
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  • 1995
    In 1995, Benazir Bhutto's government survived an attempted coup d'état hatched by renegade military officers of the Pakistan Army.
    More Details Hide Details The culprit and ringleader of the coup was a junior level officer, Major-General Zahirul Islam Abbasi, who had radical views. Others included Brigadier-Generals Mustansir Billa, and Qari Saifullah of Pakistan Army. The secret ISI learned of this plot and tipped off the Pakistan Army and at midnight before the coup could take place, it was thwarted. The coup was exposed by Ali Kuli Khan, the Military Intelligence chief, and Jehangir Karamat, Chief of General Staff. The Military Intelligence led the arrest of 36 army officers and 20 civilians in Rawalpindi; General Ali Kuli Khan reported to Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto early morning and submitted his report on the coup. After learning this, Benazir was angered and dismayed, therefore a full-fledged running court martial was formed by Benazir Bhutto. Prime Minister Benazir issued arrests of numbers of religiously conservatives leaders and therefore denied the amnesty and clemency calls made by the Army officers.
    In 1995, she personally appointed General Naseem Rana as the Director-General of the ISI, who later commanded the Pakistan Army's assets in which came to known as "Pakistan's secret war in Afghanistan".
    More Details Hide Details During this course, General Rana directly reported to the prime minister, and led the intelligence operations after which were approved by Benazir Bhutto. In 1995, Benazir also appointed Admiral Mansurul Haq as the Chief of Naval Staff, as the Admiral had personal contacts with the Benazir's family.
    In 1995 the ISI reported to Bhutto that Narasimha Rao had authorised nuclear tests, and that they could be conducted at any minute.
    More Details Hide Details Benazir put the country's nuclear arsenal programme on high-alert made emergency preparations, and ordered the Pakistani armed forces to remain on high-alert. However the United States intervened, Indian operations for conducting the nuclear tests were called off and the Japanese government attempted to mediate. In 1996, Benazir Bhutto met with Japanese officials and warned India about conducting nuclear tests. She revealed for the first time that Pakistan had achieved parity with India in its capacity to produce nuclear weapons and their delivery capability. She told the Indian press, that Pakistan "cannot afford to negate the parity we maintain with India". These statements represented a departure from Pakistan's previous policy of "nuclear ambivalence." Bhutto issued a statement on the tests and told the international press that she condemned the Indian nuclear tests. "If (India) conducts a nuclear test, it would forced her (Pakistan) to.. "follow suit " she said.
    On 1 May 1995 she used harsh language in her public warning to India that "continuation of Indian nuclear programme would have terrible consequences".
    More Details Hide Details India responded to this saying she was interfering in an "internal matter" of India, and the Indian Army fired a RPG at the Kahuta, which further escalated events, leading to full-fledged war. When this news reached Bhutto, she responded by high-alerting the Air Force Strategic Command. It ordered heavily armed Arrows, Griffins, Black Panthers and the Black Spiders to begin air sorties and to patrol the Indo-Pakistan border on day-and-night regular missions. All of these squadrons are part of the Strategic Command. On 30 May, India test-fired a Prithvi-1 missile near the Pakistan border, which Bhutto condemned. She responded by deploying Shaheen-I missiles; however, they were not armed. Benazir Bhutto permitted the PAF to deploy the Crotale missile defence and the Anza-Mk-III near the Indian border, which escalated the conflict, but effectively kept the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force from launching any surprise attack.
    In 1995 Benazir Bhutto made another state visit to the United States and held talks with U.S. President Bill Clinton.
    More Details Hide Details Bhutto urged him to revise the Pressler Amendment and launch a campaign against extremism. She criticized US nonproliferation policy and demanded that the United States honour its contractual obligation. During her second term, relations with Indian Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao further deteriorated. Like her father, Benazir Bhutto used rhetoric to oppose to India and campaign in the international community against the Indian nuclear programme.
    Even-though her government survived an attempted coup d'état in 1995, she and her husband were accused of a bribery scandal around a deal with Dassault, once again leading the President to dismiss her government over a series of graft charges.
    More Details Hide Details Her husband went on to serve eight years in prison, while she led her party to an unsuccessful re-election campaign during the 1997 election. In 1998, Benazir went into self-exile to her estate in Emirates Hills in Dubai, leading her party mainly through proxies. Her reputation was damaged by a widening corruption inquiry, a 1998 New York Times investigative report traced more than $100 million in offshore assets to Benazir and her family.
  • 1993
    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 Benazir Bhutto had asked him to not tell the story during her lifetime.
    More Details Hide Details 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. sharply denied the claims and the senior U.S. State Department 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. In 2012, senior scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, summed up to The News International that "the transfer of atomic technology was not so easy that one could put it into his pocket and hand it over to another country." Abdul Qadeer Khan also asserted that: "The-then prime minister (Mohtarma) Benazir Bhutto summoned me and named the two countries which were to be assisted and issued clear directions in this regard."
    Major-General Pervez Musharraf worked closely with Bhutto and her government in formulating an Israel strategy. In 1993 Bhutto ordered Musharraf, then Director-General of the Pakistani Army's Directorate-General for the Military Operation (DGMO), to join her state visit to the United States, an unusual and unconventional participation.
    More Details Hide Details Bhutto and Musharraf chaired a secret meeting with Israeli officials who travelled to the US especially for the meeting. Under Bhutto's guidance Musharraf intensified the ISI's liaison with Israel's Mossad. A final meeting took place in 1995, which Musharraf also joined. Bhutto also strengthened relations with communist Vietnam, and visited Vietnam to sign an agreement for mutual trade and international political cooperation the two countries.
    In August 1993, Benazir Bhutto narrowly escaped an assassination attempt near her residence in the early morning.
    More Details Hide Details While no one was injured or killed, the culprits of this attempt went into hiding. In December 1993, news began to surface in the Swat valley when Sufi Muhammad, a religious cleric, began to mobilise the local militia calling for overthrow of the "un-Islamic rule of Iron Lady". Benazir Bhutto responded quickly and ordered the Pakistan Army to crack down n the militia, leading to the movement's being crushed by the Army and the cleric was apprehended before he could escape. However, corruption grew during her government, and her government became increasingly unpopular amid corruption scandals which became public. One of the most internationally and nationally reported scandals was the Agosta Submarine scandal. Benazir Bhutto's spouse Asif Ali Zardari was linked with former Admiral Mansurul Haq who allegedly 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 in place. Both Zardari and Haq were detained due to corruption cases and Benazir Bhutto flew to Dubai from Pakistan in 1998.
    In confidential official documents Benazir Bhutto had objected to the number of Urdu speaking class in 1993 elections, in context that she had no Urdu-speaking sentiment in her circle and discrimination was continued even in her government.
    More Details Hide Details Her stance on these issues was perceived as part of rising public disclosure which Altaf Hussain called "racism". Due to Benazir Bhutto's stubbornness and authoritative actions, her political rivals gave her the nickname "Iron Lady" of Pakistan. No response was issued by Bhutto, but she soon associated with the term. The racial violence in Karachi was reached at peak and became a problem for Benazir Bhutto to counter. The MQM attempted to make an alliance with Benazir Bhutto under her own conditions, but Benazir Bhutto refused. Soon the second operation, Operation Blue Fox, was launched to wipe the MQM from country's political spectrum. The results of this operation remain inconclusive and resulted in thousands killed or gone missing, with the majority being Urdu speaking. Bhutto demanded the MQM to surrender to her government unconditionally. Though the operation was halted in 1995, but amid violence continued and, Shahid Javed Burki, a professor of economics, noted that "Karachi problem was not so much an ethnic problem as it was an economic question." Amid union and labour strikes beginning to take place in Karachi and Lahore, which were encouraged by both Altaf Hussain and Nawaz Sharif to undermine her authority, Benazir Bhutto responded by disbanding those trade union and issuing orders to arrest the leaders of the trade unions, while on the other hand, she provided incentives to local workers and labourers as she had separated the workers from their union leaders successfully.
    Benazir Bhutto learned a valuable experience and lesson from the presidency of Ghulam Ishaq Khan, and the presidential elections were soon called after her re election. After carefully examining the candidates, Benazir Bhutto decided to appoint Farooq Leghari as for her president, in which, Leghari sworned as 8th President of Pakistan on 14 November 1993 as well as first Baloch to have become president since the country's independence.
    More Details Hide Details Leghari was an apolitical figure who was educated Kingston University London receiving his degree in same discipline as of Benazir Bhutto. But unlike Khan, Leghari had no political background, no experience in government running operations, and had no background understanding the civil-military relations. In contrast, Leghari was a figurehead and puppet president with all of the military leadership directly reporting to Benazir Bhutto. She first time gave the main ministry to the minorities and appointed Julius Salik as Minister for Population Welfare. The previous governments only give ministry for minority affairs as a minister of state or parliamentary secretary. J. Salik is a very popular leader among minorities and won the MNA seat by getting highest votes throughout Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto was prime minister at a time of great racial tension in Pakistan. Her approval poll rose by 38% after she appeared and said in a private television interview after the elections: "We are unhappy with the manner in which tampered electoral lists were provided in a majority of constituencies; our voters were turned away." The Conservatives attracted voters from religious society (MMA) whose support had collapsed. The Friday Times noted "Both of them (Nawaz and Benazir) have done so badly in the past, it will be very difficult for them to do worse now. If Bhutto's government fails, everyone knows there will be no new elections. The army will take over".
    On 19 October 1993, Benazir Bhutto was sworn as Prime Minister for second term allowing her to continue her reform initiatives.
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    Khan too was forced to resign along with Nawaz Sharif in 1993, and an interim government was formed until the new elections.
    More Details Hide Details A parliamentary election was called after by the Pakistan Armed Forces. Both Sharif and Benazir Bhutto campaigned with full force, targeting each other's personalities. Their policies were very similar but a clash of personalities occurred, with both parties making many promises but not explaining how they were going to pay for them. Bhutto promised price supports for agriculture, pledged a partnership between government and business, and campaigned strongly for the female vote. Though the PPP won the most seats (86 seats) in the election but fell short of an outright majority, with the PML-N in second place with 73 seats in the Parliament. The PPP performed extremely well in Bhutto's native province, Sindh, and rural Punjab, while the PML-N was strongest in industrial Punjab and the largest cities such as Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi.
    In July 1993, Nawaz Sharif resigned from his position due to political pressure.
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  • 1990
    Bhutto maintained that the charges against her and her husband were purely political. A report by a Pakistani auditor-general (AGP) supports Bhutto's claim. It presents information suggesting that Benazir Bhutto was ousted from power in 1990 as the result of a witch hunt approved by then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan.
    More Details Hide Details 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 scrutinised and to generate speculation. Prosecutors have alleged that the couple's Swiss bank accounts contain £740 million. Zardari also bought a neo-Tudor mansion and estate worth over £4 million in Surrey, England. Pakistani investigations have tied other overseas properties to Zardari's family. These include a $2.5 million manor in Normandy owned by Zardari's parents, who had only modest assets when he his married. Bhutto has denied owning substantive overseas assets. Despite numerous investigations, court cases and charges of corruption registered against Bhutto by Nawaz Sharif between 1996 and 1999 and Pervez Musharraf from 1999 to 2008, she has yet to be convicted in any case, after twelve years of investigation. The Pakistani cases were withdrawn by the government of Pakistan after the return to power of Bhutto's PPP in 2008.
    From 1990 to 1993, Benazir Bhutto worked for her voice and screen image.
    More Details Hide Details Pakistan affairs intellectual Anatol Lieven compared her accent as "cut-glass accent", but acknowledged her education and academic background. Bhutto began to regularly attend lunches at the Institute of Development Economics (IDE), a think tank founded in the 1950s; she had been visiting IDE and reading its publications since the mid-1970s. During that time, the IDA launched a secret campaign against Benazir Bhutto's image to demoralise party workers; the campaign brutally backfired on Nawaz Sharif when the media exposed the campaign and its motives. More than ₨. 5 million were spent on the campaign and it undermined the credibility of conservatives, who also failed to resolve issues among between them. Despite an economic recovery in late 1993, the IDA government faced public unease about the direction of the country and an industrialisation that revolved around and centred only in Punjab Province. Amid protest and civil disorder in Sindh Province following the imposition of Operation Clean-up, the IDA government lost control of the province. The Peoples Party attacked the IDA government's record on unemployment and industrial racism.
    Khan called for new elections in 1990, where Bhutto conceded defeat.
    More Details Hide Details The Election Commission of Pakistan called for the new parliamentary elections in 1990. The Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, or Islamic Democratic Alliance (IDA), under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif, won a majority in the Parliament. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, conservatives had a chance to rule the country. Sharif became the 12th prime minister of Pakistan and Bhutto was the leader of the opposition for the next five years. In November 1992, Bhutto attempted to perform a 10-mile march from Rawalpindi to Islamabad. However, she was forced to discontinue the rally due to a threat of arrest from Prime Minister Sharif. The demonstration was an anti-government rally that upset Pakistan officials. She was placed under house arrest and vowed to bring down the Pakistani government. In December 1992, a two-day march was conducted in protest of Nawaz Sharif.
    In November 1990, after a long political battle, Khan used the Eighth Amendment to dismiss the Bhutto government following charges of corruption, nepotism, and despotism.
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    After President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed Bhutto's first government on 6 August 1990 because of corruption allegations, the government of Pakistan directed its intelligence agencies to investigate.
    More Details Hide Details Nawaz Sharif became prime minister in the ensuing elections and intensified prosecution investigation of Bhutto. Pakistani embassies through western Europe—in France, Switzerland, Spain, Poland and Britain—were directed to investigate. Bhutto and her husband Zardari faced several legal proceedings, including a charge in Switzerland of money-landering through Swiss banks. While never convicted, Zardari spent eight years in prison on similar corruption charges. Released on bail in 2004, Zardari hinted that while in prison he was tortured; human rights groups have supported his claim that his rights were violated.
    By 1990 a power struggle between the prime minister and president ensued.
    More Details Hide Details Because of the semi-presidential system, Bhutto needed permission from Khan to impose new policies. Khan vetoed many, as he felt they contradicted his point of view. Bhutto, through her legislators, also attempted to shift to a parliamentary democracy from the semi-presidential system, but Khan always used his constitutional powers to veto Bhutto's attempts. Tales of corruption in public-sector industries began to surface, which undermined the credibility of Bhutto. The unemployment and labour strikes began to take place which halted and jammed the economic wheel of the country, and Bhutto was unable to solve these issues due to the cold war with the President.
    She declared 1990 a year of space in Pakistan and conferred national awards on scientists and engineers who participated in the development of this satellite. In 1989, the media reported a sting operation and political scandal, codenamed Midnight Jackal, in which former members of ISI hatched a plan to topple the Bhutto government.
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    In the 1980s, Benazir Bhutto started aerospace projects such as Project Sabre II, Project PAC, Ghauri project under Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan in 1990 and the Shaheen programme in 1995 under Dr. Samar Mubarakmand.
    More Details Hide Details During her second term, Benazir Bhutto declared 1996 as a year of "information technology" and envisioned her policy of making Pakistan a "global player" in information technology. One of her initiatives was the launching of a package to promote computer literacy through participation from the private sector. Benazir issued an executive decree allowing the completion of duty-tariff free imports of hardware and software exports, in order to provide a low rate for data communications in both the public and private sectors. Benazir Bhutto also established and set up the infrastructure of software-technology parks in rural areas and in cities, and approved a financial-assistance loan for software houses for the public sector. In opposition to her conservative opponent Nawaz Sharif, whose policy was to make the nuclear weapons programme benefit the economy, Benazir Bhutto took aggressive steps to modernise and expand the integrated atomic weapons programme begun by her father in 1972, who was one of the key political administrative figures of Pakistan's nuclear deterrent development. During her first term, Benazir Bhutto established the separate but integrated nuclear testing programme in the atomic bomb programme, requiring the authorisation of the Prime minister and the military leadership. Despite Benazir's denial that she authorised the nuclear testing programme in her second term she continued to modernise the programme which she termed a "contractual obligation".
    In 1990 she forced Akbar to resign from active duty, and as director-general of Army Technological Research Laboratories (ATRL); she replaced him with Lieutenant-General Talat Masood as E-in-C of ATRL as well as director of all military projects.
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    During her 1990 trip to Britain, Bhutto paid a visit to Dr. Abdus Salam, a Nobel laureate in physics and a science advisor to her father's government.
    More Details Hide Details During both her terms as Prime Minister, Bhutto followed the science and technology policy her father laid out in 1972, and promoted military funding of science and technology as part of that policy. However, in 1988, Bhutto was denied access to the classified national research institutes run by the military, which remained however under the control of the civilian president Ghulam Ishaq Khan and the Chief of Army Staff. Bhutto was kept unaware about the progress of the nuclear complexes, even when the country passed the milestone in 1986 of fissile core manufacturing capability U.S. Ambassador Robert Oakley was the first diplomat notified about the complexes,in 1988. Shortly afterwards Bhutto summoned chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Munir Ahmad Khan to her office; Khan brought Abdul Qadeer Khan with him and introduced him to the Prime Minister. At that meeting Bhutto learned the status of this program which had matured since its beginnings in 1978, and on request of A. Q. Khan, visited Khan Research Laboratories for the first time in 1989, much to the anger of Ishaq Khan. Bhutto also responded to Khan when she moved the Ministry of Science and Technology's office to the Prime Minister Secretariat with Munir Ahmad Khan directly reporting to her. Bhutto had successfully eliminated any possibility of Khan's involvement and prevented him from having any influence in science-research programmes, a policy which also benefited her successor Nawaz Sharif.
    When she gave birth to Bakhtawar in 1990, she became the first modern head of government to give birth while in office.
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  • 1989
    In 1989, the Pakistan Army exposed the alleged Operation Midnight Jackal against the government of Benazir Bhutto.
    More Details Hide Details When she learned the news, Benazir Bhutto ordered the arrest and trial of former ISI officer Brigadier Imtiaz Ahmad and Major Amir Khan, it was later revealed that it was General Beg who was behind this plot. General Beg soon paid the price in 1993 elections, when Benazir Bhutto politically destroyed the former general and his career was over before taking any shifts in politics. During her first term, Benazir Bhutto had successfully removed senior military officers including Lieutenant-Generals Hamid Gul, Zahid Ali Akbar Khan, General Jamal A. Khan, and Admiral Tariq Kamal Khan, all of whom had anti-democratic views and were closely aligned to General Zia, replacing them with officers who were educated in Western military institutes and academies, generally the ones with more westernised democratic views. During her second term, Benazir Bhutto's relations with the Pakistan Armed Forces took a different and pro-Bhutto approach, when she carefully appointed General Abdul Waheed Kakar as the Chief of Army Staff. General Abdul Waheed was an uptight, strict, and a professional officer with a views of Westernized democracy. Benazir also appointed Admiral Saeed Mohammad Khan as Chief of Naval Staff; General Abbas Khattak as Chief of Air Staff. Whilst, Air Chief Marshal Farooq Feroze Khan was appointed chairman Joint Chiefs who was the first (and to date only) Pakistani air officer to have reached to such 4 star assignment. Benazir Bhutto enjoyed a strong relations with the Pakistan Armed Forces, and President who was hand-picked by her did not questioned her authority.
    The officers were removed from their positions and placed at Adiala military correctional institute in 1989. The officers were released from the military correctional institute by order of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1996. By 1990 the revelation of Midnight Jackal lessened President Ghulam Ishaq Khan's influence in national politics, government and the military.
    More Details Hide Details Bhutto was thought by the president to be a young and inexperienced figure in politics, though highly educated. But he miscalculated her capabilities; she emerged as a 'power player' in international politics. Bhutto's authoritative actions frustrated the president; he was not taken in confidence when decisions were made.
    Bhutto attempted to warm relations with neighbouring India and met with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1989.
    More Details Hide Details She negotiated a trade agreement when the Indian premier paid a farewell visit to Pakistan. The goodwill in Indian-Pakistani relations continued until 1990, when V. P. Singh succeeded Gandhi as premier. The influence of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Singh forced him to abrogate the agreements. Tensions also began to rise with Pakistan after the BJP enforced hardline policies inside Kashmir which the Pakistani government denounced. Soon the Singh administration launched a military operation in Kashmir to curb secessionists. In response, Benazir allegedly authorized covert operations to support secession movements in Indian Kashmir. In 1990 Major General Pervez Musharraf, then head of the Directorate-General for the Military Operations (DGMO), proposed a strategy against India to Bhutto that called for Kargil infiltration, but she declined because he didn't have a contingency plan for dealing with any international fallout that might result In 1988, Lieutenant General Hamid Gul, chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), met with Bhutto and advocated for a supporting the Khalistan movement, a Sikh nationalist movement. Gul justified this as the only way to pre-empt new Indian threats to Pakistan's territory. Bhutto disagreed and asked him to stop playing this card. Gul reportedly told her "Madam Prime Minister, keeping Indian Punjab destabilized is equivalent... to the Pakistan Army... having an extra division at no cost to the taxpayers.
  • 1988
    In 1988, shortly after assuming the office, Benazir Bhutto paid a visit to Siachen region, to boost the moral of the soldiers who fought the Siachen war with India.
    More Details Hide Details This was the first visit of any civilian leader to any military war-zone area since the country's independence in 1947. In 1988, Benazir appointed Major-General Pervez Musharraf as Director-General of the Army Directorate General for Military Operations (DGMO); and then-Brigadier-General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as her Military-Secretary.
    Benazir Bhutto became the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan on 2 December 1988.
    More Details Hide Details On arriving at the Secretariat, her official residence, she addressed the huge crowd: Bhutto formed a coalition government December 2 with the liberal Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party, an ally she required as head of a minority government. Over time, Bhutto quietly isolated MQM from power, later ousting them to establish a single-party government that claimed a mandate from all of Pakistan. The effects of Zia's domestic policies began to reveal themselves, and she found them difficult to counter. Bhutto had vowed to repeal the controversial Hudood Ordinance in her first term, and also to revert the Eighth Amendment, General Zia's modification of the Constitution giving himself the power to dissolve Parliament and call for fresh elections. Bhutto also promised to shift Pakistan's semi-presidential system to a parliamentary system. But none of these reforms were implemented and Bhutto began to struggle with conservative president Ghulam Ishaq Khan over issues of executive authority. Khan systematically vetoed proposed laws and ordinances that would lessen presidential authority. Bhutto however did manage modernization and reform initiatives during this period, which some conservatives characterised as Westernization.
    After winning support from a coalition government in the national assembly, Benazir assumed the Prime Minister's Office in December 1988.
    More Details Hide Details Benazir, however, struggled to maintain control over power, marked by political and economic instability, Benazir's government was dismissed on August 7, 1990 by then President who accused her administration of corruption and nepotism. Benazir went on to once again lead her party through the 1990 election, however failed to win a parliamentary majority. Later in 2012, Pakistan's Supreme Court would rule that the 1990 election where rigged by the ISI in favour of the conservative IJI. Despite electoral fraud, Benazir served as the Leader of the Opposition until the conservative government was also dismissed in 1996 over charges of corruption. Bhutto successfully led her party to victory in the 1993 parliamentary elections, and once again became the prime minister. Her second term was marked with several controversies, including the assassination of her brother Murtaza. Her husband and member of her cabinet, Asif Ali Zardari, was indicted for the murder but later exonerated.
  • 1987
    On 18 December 1987, Bhutto married Asif Ali Zardari in Karachi.
    More Details Hide Details The couple had three children: two daughters, Bakhtawar and Asifa, and a son, Bilawal.
  • 1985
    She continued to raise her voice against the human rights violations of the Zia régime, and addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg in 1985.
    More Details Hide Details In retaliation for this speech, Zia pronounced death sentences against 54 members of her party, through a military court in Lahore that he headed himself. When Zia died in a plane crash in August 1988. That November Pakistan held the first open general elections in more than a decade. Bhutto's PPP won several provinces and won the largest percentage of seats in the National Assembly, the lower house of Pakistan's parliament. As head of her party, Bhutto therefore became Prime Minister of Pakistan.
    In 1985 Benazir's brother Shahnawaz died, apparently poisoned The Bhutto family believed the murder was ordered by Zia and went into hiding.
    More Details Hide Details Further pressure from the international community forced the president to hold elections; he scheduled them on a non-party basis for a unicameral legislature. Bhutto called for a boycott of this election because it was not in accordance with the constitution.
  • 1984
    In January 1984, after six years of house arrest and imprisonment, General Zia bowed to international pressure and allowed Bhutto and her family to leave Pakistan for medical reasons.
    More Details Hide Details After surgery, she remained abroad and resumed political activities, raising awareness about mistreatment of political prisoners in Pakistan at the hands of the Zia regime. In exile in the United Kingdom, Bhutto became a leader in exile of the populist Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Bhutto's efforts intensified political pressure on Zia, forcing him to holding a referendum to prove his government's legitimacy. The vote held 1 December 1984 was a farce. Despite the best efforts of the government, only 10% of the electorate turned out to vote.
  • 1981
    After six months of this Bhutto spent months in the hospital, then was moved to Karachi Central Jail, where she remained until 11 December 1981.
    More Details Hide Details She was then placed under house arrest in Larkana for eleven months, and transferred to Karachi where she spent 14 more months under house arrest.
  • 1979
    Bhutto and her immediate family were held in a "police camp" until May 1979.
    More Details Hide Details Benazir and Murtaza were arrested. After a PPP victory in local elections, General Zia postponed national elections indefinitely and moved Benazir, Murtaza, and their mother Nusrat from Karachi to Larkana Central Jail. This was the seventh time Nusrat and her children had been arrested in the two years since the coup. After repeatedly placing the family under house arrest, in March 1981 the régime finally imprisoned Benazir in solitary confinement in a desert cell at Sukkur in Sindh. Every so often, a bottle of poison would appear in her cell. In her autobiography,Daughter of Destiny, she described conditions in her wall-less cage in that prison:
    Although the murder accusation remained "widely doubted by the public", and many foreign leaders appealed for clemency, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was condemned, then hanged 4 April 1979 under the effective orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1977
    Bhutto's father, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was removed from office in a 1977 military coup led by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the Chief of Army Staff.
    More Details Hide Details Zia imposed martial law and promised to hold elections within three months. But instead Zia charged Zulfikar with conspiring to murder the father of dissident politician Ahmed Raza Kasuri. Zulfikar's family opposed Zia's imposition of ultra-conservative military dictatorship, despite the consequences to themselves drawn by their opposition. Benazir Bhutto and her brother Murtaza spent the next eighteen months in and out of house arrest while she worked to rally political support and attempted to pressure Zia to drop the murder charges against her father. On behalf of Bhutto's former law minister Abdul Hafeez Pirzada and Fakhruddin Abrahim, the Bhutto family filed a petition at the Chief Martial Law Administrator Office asking reconsideration of Zulfikar Bhutto's sentence as well as the release of his friend Mubashir Hassan. General Zia said he misplaced the petition.
  • 1976
    In December 1976 Bhutto was elected president of the Oxford Union, and became the first Asian woman to head the prestigious debating society.
    More Details Hide Details Her undergraduate career was dogged by controversy, partly due to her father's unpopularity with student politicians. She was also president of the Oxford Majlis Asian Society.
  • 1973
    Between 1973 and 1977 Bhutto studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford (LMH) and took additional courses in International Law and Diplomacy.
    More Details Hide Details After LMH she attended St Catherine's College, Oxford.
  • 1969
    She pursued her higher education in the United States; from 1969 to 1973 she attended Radcliffe College at Harvard University, where she obtained a BA with cum laude honours in comparative government.
    More Details Hide Details She was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Bhutto later called her time at Harvard "four of the happiest years of my life" and said it formed "the very basis of her belief in democracy". In 1995, as Prime Minister, she arranged a gift from the Pakistani government to Harvard Law School.
  • 1953
    Benazir Bhutto was born at Karachi's Pinto Hospital on 21 June 1953.
    More Details Hide Details She was the eldest child of Sindhi Rajput Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Begum Nusrat Ispahani, of Iranian Kurdish descent. She had three younger siblings—Murtaza, Shahnawaz and Sanam. According to Benazir, her mother's Kurdish culture played a big role in Bhutto becoming Prime Minister. Bhutto grew up speaking both English and Urdu, with English her first language. While she spoke fluent Urdu, it was often colloquial rather than formal. In her autobiography 'Daughter of the East', Bhutto also makes reference to using Sindhi, joking about misunderstanding the "Mohenjo-daro". According to various interviews given by former household servants, she and her father would speak to them in their native Sindhi. She attended the Lady Jennings Nursery School and the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Karachi. After two years at the Rawalpindi Presentation Convent, she was sent to the Jesus and Mary Convent at Murree. She passed her O-level examinations at 15. She then completed her A-Levels at the Karachi Grammar School.
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