Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto

Here are some facts on Benazir Bhutto:

* Benazir Bhutto was born on June 21, 1953, into a wealthy landowning family. Her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, founded the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Zulfikar Ali bhutto was president and later prime minister of Pakistan from 1971 to 1977.

* After gaining degrees in politics at Harvard and Oxford universities, she returned to Pakistan in 1977. Just before the military seized power from her father. Benazir Bhutto inherited the leadership of the PPP after her father’s execution in 1979 under the military ruler General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq.

* First voted in as prime minister in 1988, Benazir Bhutto was sacked by the then-president on corruption charges in 1990. She took power again in 1993 after her successor, Nawaz Sharif, was forced to resign in a row with the president. Benazir Bhutto was no more successful in her second spell as prime minister. As a result, Sharif was back in power by 1996.

* In 1999, both Benazir Bhutto and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, were send behind bars for five years. They were also fined $8.6 million on charges of taking kickbacks from a Swiss company hired to fight customs fraud. A higher court later overturned the conviction as biased. Bhutto, who had made her husband investment minister during her period in office from 1993 to 1996, was abroad at the time of her conviction and chose not to return to Pakistan.

* In 2006 she joined an Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy with her arch rival Sharif. But the two disagreed over strategy for dealing with Musharraf. Bhutto decided it was better to negotiate with Musharraf. While Sharif has refused to have any dealings with the general.

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