KARACHI: Exactly 29 years ago today history was made: Muslim world’s first ever female Prime Minister, the ever-respectable Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was sworn in to office.
Taking on a rather daunting role on 2nd December 1988 when she became the first ever woman to lead a modern Islamic nation, Benazir Bhutto was an individual of unmatched dedication and valor. While it just seems like a thing of yesterday when BB came to power, BB’s journey of struggle and power is one that is known to many. Born in an influential family that had its roots in politics, BB became the voice and hope of millions when she assumed office as Prime Minister of Pakistan for the first time, back in 1988.
After her father Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto – founder of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) – was overthrown and executed by General Zia-ul-Haq, BB took it upon herself to lead the party. Her victory in 1988 election is a testament to the fact that she not only dreamt of changing the country, but the entire world.
Although her government was soon criticized of corruption and nepotism, Benazir Bhutto, also known as ‘Daughter of the East’ established herself as a leader that rules the hearts of masses even today. Shortly after coming to office in 1988, BB’s administration was dismissed by then-President Ghulam Ishaq Khan.
However, turning everything around in her favour in 1993, Pakistan got to witness history yet again as it elected BB as Prime Minister for the second time.
During both her terms, BB had to face enormous challenges including repeated imprisonment, house-arrest and exile. Despite of all the hardships she had to see in life, her vision of leading Pakistan did not perish, as she returned to her homeland from Dubai after a period of exile, in hope to participate in the 2008 general election. Unfortunately, she was martyred during a tragic attack in late 2007.
While Pakistan is yet to see a strong, powerful and influential female leader as Benazir Bhutto, one thing is for sure. BB will continue to hold the title of being the first democratically-elected female Prime Minister of Pakistan, as well as a special place in everyone’s hearts forever.
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