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Some Lesser Known Facts About Benazir Bhutto
- Does Benazir Bhutto smoke: Not Known
- Does Benazir Bhutto drink alcohol: Not Known
- She was from a political family and had inherited her father’s uniform of being a leader of one of the Muslim majority states. Her father was the founder of Pakistan People’s Party.
- Benazir, in an interview, said she hated how she had to walk so much in such bone-chilling cold of England when she was at Radcliffe College. So sheltered was her life before moving to Harvard that she was always driven to and picked up in a car.
- She was tilted towards making herself a diplomat over a politician any day, but things began changing after her father was ousted as Prime Minister in a military coup and was imprisoned in 1977. It became clear in her mind to be a politician when her father was executed two years later. Benazir later said, “I told him on my oath in his death cell, I would carry on his work.”
- The price that she paid after boring herself into the politics was constant detentions, house arrests, imprisonment, and that too under distressing conditions for nearly 5 years.
- Though she was allowed to leave Pakistan in 1984 because of the serious ear infection that she had, the family drama did not quite stop, as one of her two brothers was found dead at his home. The death was all mysterious.
- The martial law in Pakistan was lifted in December 1985. The homecoming of Benazir was in April 1986, which was celebrated by hundreds of thousands of Pakistani civilians resulting in the motorcade to slow down to a crawl that it took nearly 10 hours to travel just 13 kms.
- The two terms that she served as Prime Minister of Pakistan were no less than torture as she was constrained by Pakistan’s two most powerful institutions, ‘Military’ and ‘Mullahs.’ Most of what she had lost in those ruling years was the credibility because of the charges of corruption and that of nepotism. It was further degraded when her second brother was shot dead after he challenged her status as party leader.
- Recovery in her image and the growth in support for Benazir in Pakistan worried Pervez Musharraf, who then released a number of members of the liberal secular force (Muttahida Qaumi Movement) MQM from the imprisonment to hold back PPP from getting to victorious numbers in the next elections. Then in 2002, Musharraf amended Pakistan’s constitution to hold back the Prime Ministers from serving more than two terms which opted out the chances of Benazir becoming a Prime Minister again.
- Despite every preventive measure that Musharraf took to prevent PPP from winning the 2002 elections, Benazir led party secured most number of seats (80). Such an unfortunate the lady was that some of the elected members of her party made their own wing called PPP- Patriots. Faisal Saleh Hayat led wing later formed a coalition government with Musharraf’s party, Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam).
- After nearly 5 years of trails against her husband, she and the kids were reunited with Asif Ali Zardari in December 2004.
- Though Benazir was aware of the risk to her life, she expressed her desire in an interview in August 2007 that she wanted to go back to Pakistan for 2008 parliamentary elections. She finally fled to Karachi in October the same year.
- In November 2007, Benazir was placed under house arrest for a couple of hours before she was to address a rally against the state of emergency that was declared by Musharraf earlier that month.
- When she was to address a rally in Karachi in October 2007, two explosions were witnessed soon after she landed at Jinnah International Airport, which left 136 people dead and more than 450 got injured in the attack. Just as she was ducked back to the steel command center to relieve her swollen feet from her sandals after about 10 hours of ruckus through Karachi, a bomb again went off. The total number of people injured according to PPP records stood 1000 and at least 160 dead.
- On December 27, 2007, Benazir, while leaving her campaign rally in Rawalpindi brought her head out of the sun shield of her bulletproof car providing killers with the complete exposure to her body unsecured. They then fired the shots at her head and soon the bombs were also detonated around her car. 17:35 was the local time she was taken to the Operation Theatre and was declared dead at 18:16. The cause of death was not determined until Scotland Yard investigators in February 2008 concluded that it was due to blunt force trauma to the head as she was tossed by the explosion.
- Benazir Bhutto’s 15 bedroom mansion in Surrey, a place where dignitaries and world leaders in their formal attire might have sipped tea in the bone china mugs, is now being used by swingers and couples to meet for wife/ girlfriend swapping, and erotic evenings.