Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
At the age of thirty-five, Benazir Bhutto (BEW-toh) became the prime minister of Pakistan, a predominantly Muslim country. She was then one of the youngest heads of state in the world. Her hard-won victory in 1988 changed the course of her nation and recast the way in which women, particularly Muslim women, see their role in the world.
Born to Zulfikar Al Bhutto and Nusrat Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto was destined to follow in her father’s footsteps and enter public life. A wealthy feudal landowner and at one time prime minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Al Bhutto sent his daughter to the United States to study international relations in preparation for her political future. His intention was for her to become foreign minister in his government.
When Zulfikar Al Bhutto became prime minister in 1971, it was virtually the first time a nonmilitary ruler had led the country in Pakistan’s history. Pakistan had been formed only twenty-four years earlier, at the time of the formation of India as an independent nation. Pakistan’s history had always been turbulent, beset by internecine conflicts between differing cultures and regions.
Benazir attended Radcliffe College in the United States, at the age of sixteen. She was an intelligent and gifted student. She kept to Islamic laws in diet and dress, specifically refusing to wear dresses or to dance. She engaged in some antiwar protests in Washington, D.C., and was nicknamed “Pinkie” by her...
(The entire section is 1133 words.)
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