Monday, 31 December 2007

Bhutto's successor

Three days after his mother's assasination, 19-year-old Bilawal Bhutto, finds himself inheriting not just one of the most celebrated names in politics, but a history steeped in power and bloodshed.

He has been chosen as the chairman of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) while his father, Asif Ali Zardari, will serve as co-chairman.

The appointment means the party leadership follows the Bhutto bloodline for a third generation, some four decades after it was founded by Bilawal's grandfather and former prime minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

The decisions were made at a closed-door meeting of the party's central executive committee.

The PPP also decided to contest in the upcoming elections, apparently ending the threat of a wholesale boycott by Pakistan's political opposition.

"The party's long struggle for democracy will continue with renewed vigour," Bilawal told a news conference.

"My mother always said democracy is the best revenge," he said.

While friends of the slain former Prime Minister say she always envisaged Bilawal becoming her political heir, they agree that she would not have wanted him to have to bear that burden so young.

At 19, Bilawal is still some way from completing his education.

Read here, here and here


Anonymous said...

That's Democracy, "Bhutto style" — appointing a 19-year-old kid head of the party because he’s got the right last name.

Anonymous said...

And she was supposed to help bring Pakistan back towards democracy.

Anonymous said...

Her son, Bilawal, has just inherited Benazir's post as the new leader of the PPP.

He is only 19. And there she was talking about restoring Democracy in Pakistan.

What a joke!

zorro said...


Anonymous said...

The rallying cry of this young man is "my mother always said democracy is the best revenge".

What the does he mean by that?

So young and politcally inexperienced, how is he expected to lead the party?

orang lama

elviza said...

Ah, so young...

Mior Azhar said...

Kak Ton,
I'm just curious. He's way too young. Why can't just the husband assume the post? Or any other person, for that matter. Is it a family-owned poltical party? Oh well.
Anyway, Happy New Year Kak Ton and family.

puteri said...

Doesnt that remind you of someone close to home who thinks it is his RIGHT to succeed the FIL?

Anonymous said...

Poor guy. Pity him. So young and has to carry such a burden for the sake of upholding Family Honour and Legacy.

Hi&Lo said...

I agree with the general sentiments expressed here. Not against political dynasties, but the heir apparent must be a proven quantity.

Inheriting the mantle when he is still wet behind the ears with regards to worldly experience does not bode well for Pakistan and PPP in particular. Shows bankruptcy of political leadership as if the family name is above mortals.

Having said all these, we still don't know the underlying reason the late Bhutto wanted to pass the baton to her undergrad son who just finished his 1st semester of his studies.

Anonymous said...


For the S.I.L. to be the successor someone has to do a Benazir to the F.I.L. :)

kina said...

Poor thing!

the burden of having such a powerful last name, errr, how come he is taking the Bhutto last name? not the father's last name?

and again, poor thing!

They will zap the youth out of the boy!

Pi Bani said...

I guess in certain countries where the people "taksub" to a certain leader, leadership is somehow inherited by virtue of having the same last name. Kot ye pun, make sure the heir is capable enough lah. But a 19 year old? Can lah lead their Putera PPP... if they have one... ;)

Happy new year Kak Ton. May 2008 be a cheerful year for you.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

sorry aunty maria, nothing to do with the entry. just to wish you and uncle R a very happy new year and may Allah bless you both with excellent health and wealth for being such a generous host weekly. we're all blessed to have you and uncle as friends. personally, i'm honoured. see ya next year!

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi Zorro,

Happy New Year to you too.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...


Yes, terlalu muda.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi Mior,

According to reports the PPP would be run by Benazir's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, until Bilawal completes his studies and is ready to assume the party's leadership.

Mr Zardari is in fact the party's de facto chief and is faced with the immediate challenge of guiding it through the elections.

The manner in which the question of succession has been decided indicates that he may well be as tough an opposition to Musharaff as Benazir.

As a non-Bhutto he is shrewd enough not to accept the top party post for fear of causing disunity.

That's the reason he passed the mantle on to his son, who has since renamed himself as Bhutto.

Yes Mior, the Pakistan People's Party was founded by Benazir's father, the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Happy New Year to you and yr family.

Thanks for dropping by.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi hi&lo,

For whatever reasons, I still think it is ridiculous to have a 19-year-old teenager lead the biggest politcal party in a country of 160 million people.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

hi kina,

Agree with you.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi Pi.

Maybe the PPP should take up your suggestion. Set up a PPP Youth wing like Pemuda Umno. Lol.

Happy New Year to you too, Pi. :)

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi kerp,

Tidak mengapa. Boleh juga hantar utusan ucapan selamat tahun baru di sini. :)

Uncle Roslani & I are glad that we got to know you too. :)

Happy New year to you & your family.

The Ancient Mariner said...

I remember a time when RTM news readers didnt pronounce the name Bhutto correctly,for obvious reasons.

Anyway, happy new year to you and yours.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi Capt,

If I remember the RTM announcers then pronounced Bhutto as "Batto".


Happy New Year to you, too.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PrincessJournals said...

19? howlah like tht? i tot only in monarchy or ur own business aje tht u can pass down the baton. or is pakistan a family business? :P

maria a samad (kak ton) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Hi Princessjournals,

The party (PPP) was founded by Bilawal's grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

That is the reason why the late Benazir left a will naming him as her successor and lead the party...err I mean, the Bhutto Dynasty.