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Benazir Bhutto

Updated on February 11, 2013

Benazir Bhutto - First Woman Prime Minister of a Modern Muslim Nation

When Benazir Bhutto was first elected Prime Minister of Pakistan at 35, she became the youngest chief executive in the world and the first woman elected ruler of a Muslim country in modern history. She served two non-consecutive terms, but later was convicted in absentia of corruption charges. In October 2007, she ended eight years in exile and returned to Pakistan to run for office. She was assassinated two months later.

(Image of Benazir Bhutto by iFaqeer on Wikipedia)

Daughter of the East: Bhutto's Updated Autobiography - An Updated version of her autobiography, Daughter of Destiny

An updated version of "Daughter of Destiny," which was originally published in 1989, was planned for 2008 release before Benazir Bhutto was assassinated.

The updated autobiography, titled "Daugther of the East," is described this way by Amazon:

Beautiful, charismatic, and the first and only woman to lead a post-colonial Muslim state, Benazir Bhutto achieved international renown in her native Pakistan until charges of corruption forced her into exile in the late 1990s. From her upbringing in one of Pakistan's richest families to her subsequent politicization and her arrest following her father's execution, Bhutto's autobiography chronicles a life of strength, dedication, and courage in the face of adversity. This updated volume addresses her personal and political activities over the past two decades and how her country has changed since being thrust into international limelight following 9/11. Intriguing and impassioned, this is the life story of one of the most prominent female politicians of the 20th century.

President Bush's Statement on Bhutto's Assassination

The White House released the following press release after hearings news of Benazir Bhutto's assassination:

"Laura and I extend our deepest condolences to the family of Benazir Bhutto, to her friends, to her supporters. We send our condolences to the families of the others who were killed in today's violence. And we send our condolences to all the people of Pakistan on this tragic occasion.

The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy. Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice. Mrs. Bhutto served her nation twice as Prime Minister and she knew that her return to Pakistan earlier this year put her life at risk. Yet she refused to allow assassins to dictate the course of her country.

We stand with the people of Pakistan in their struggle against the forces of terror and extremism. We urge them to honor Benazir Bhutto's memory by continuing with the democratic process for which she so bravely gave her life."

More Books About Benazir Bhutto - Read more about Pakistan's first woman prime minister

Benazir Bhutto Timeline

Highlights from the Pakistan leader's life

Jun 1953 - born in Karachi

1969 - admitted to Harvard University at age 16

1971 - Benazir's father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, elected president of Pakistan

1973- graduated from Harvard with a degree in political science

1973 - Zulfikar Ali Bhutto elected Prime Minister

1974 - attended Oxford University

Jun 1977 - returned to Pakistan two weeks before General Zia-ul-Haq staged a coup against her father, PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and imprisoned the former prime minister on charges of murder; Benazir Bhutto arrested

Apr 1979 - Zulfikar Ali Bhutto hanged

1984 - Benazir released from prison and goes into exile in England

Apr 1986 - returned to Pakistan and welcomed by a million supporters at Lahore airport

Jul 1987 - married Asif Ali Zardari in Karachi

Aug 1988 - General Zia killed in an air crash

Dec 1988 - Bhutto sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan

Aug 1990 - dismissed as PM by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and accused her of incompetence and corruption

Oct 1993 - re-elected prime minister

Nov 1996 - President Pakistan Farooq Leghari dimissed Bhutto as PM and dissolved the National Assembly

1999 - went into exile in the UK and Dubai

1999 - convicted in absentia of corruption charges after failing to appear in court; the ruling was later overturned

Oct 2007 - granted amnesty against corruption charges and returned to Pakistan

Dec 2007 - assassinated near Rawalpindi, Pakistan

How Will History Remember Benazir Bhutto?

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"You can imprison a man, but not an idea. You can exile a man, but not an idea. You can kill a man, but not an idea." - Benazir Bhutto

Not the First Woman Leader to Be Assassinated

Benazir Bhutto is not the first female world leader to be assassinated. The former PM joins India's Indira Gandhi and Rwanda's Agathe Uwilingiyimana on the short list of women prime ministers who have been killed during or after serving their country as head of state.

Bhutto Memorial Gifts on eBay

News of Bhutto's assassination has prompted a number of eBay sellers to offer memorial gifts.

Before Bhutto Returned to Pakistan, we asked what people thought of her

Click the "Skip voting and see results" link to see how people voted.

Archived Poll

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    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      An amazing woman with a tragic end.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Interesting comments. Some PRO. Some CON. She didn't need to be gunned down like that. If they didn't want here there they could have just run her out of the country. ... AGAIN.

    • profile image

      bayutuae 6 years ago

      Nice lens on the life of Benazir Bhutto and no doubt she was a great leader and daughter of the East. Her reforms has resulted many sectors of Pakistan to grow especially Media, Technology and Pakistan real estate industry.

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 8 years ago

      Excellent tribute.

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 8 years ago

      Great lens! Please join the new Squidoo group Rulers and Royalty.

    • profile image

      nooranwer 9 years ago

      I am from Pakistan...........I don't like her Party but I like Benazir Bhutto..........Think what life has given her.........A dad, who get murdered........2 brothers...their murder mystery is still unsolved...........A mother, who doesn't know as if her daughter is alive or not......!

      She was a broken but a successful lady.........Nobody saw her devotion, her love for the Country when she was arrived to Pakistan.........Is there any politician in Pakistan who can move around the market of Peshwar (alone)...

      She was the one.........!

    • profile image

      aliandzain 9 years ago

      Very nice tribute.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Benazir Bhutto was a great leader, she has serverd Pakistan bravely, faithfully. She was really great.

    • daoine lm profile image

      daoine lm 9 years ago

      Welcome to the Phenomenal Women group :)

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 9 years ago

      Great tribute.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Corruption charge is understandable for once not for twice. Its the matter of imagine the level of done corruption by her that she was toppled (Twice) even if being the highest political power i.e. Prime Minister.

    • DreamingBoomer profile image

      Karen Kay 9 years ago from Jackson, MS

      I pray her death was not in vain...That we can honor her memory by continuing her spirit and efforts for positive change

    • tplus profile image

      tplus 9 years ago

      It's sad that we've lost an important woman of power to a coward who would blow himself up in a crowd of people. :(

    • Clairwil LM profile image

      Clairwil LM 10 years ago

      Thanks for joining the 'Women of Note' group.

      Interesting lens *****.

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      She is proven corrupt person along with her party. What she has done for Pakistan? Nothing.