Bhutto's 19 Year-Old Son Takes Over Pakistan People's Party
Bilawal Zardari, right, son of slain former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto talks to his father Asif Ali Zardari, left, at the news conference after he has been nominated Chairman of Bhutto’s People’s party in Naudero near Larkana, Pakistan on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2007. (AP)
Benazir Bhutto’s son has been anointed her successor, the slain former prime minister’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) confirmed today. A senior PPP official had told TIME late Saturday that Bhutto’s 19-year-old son, Bilawal, would likely be named as her political heir and the new party leader on Sunday. PPP members met this morning to discuss the party’s future and to give Bilawal, a student at Oxford, a chance to read his mother’s last will and testament.
A Pakistani television news channel also carried reports on Saturday that Bilawal would be made the new leader, which the channel said accorded with Benazir Bhutto’s wishes. The teenager will become the third leader of the 40-year-old center-left party, one of Pakistan’s most powerful. Bilawal will follow his grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who founded the PPP in 1967, led Pakistan as Prime Minister for four years in the mid 1970s and was hanged in 1979 by a military government, and Benazir, who took over from her father and was killed in a shooting and suicide bomb attack two days ago.
Here is young Bilawal’s acceptance speech:
Bilawal will share the position with his father who has been plagued with corruption charges throughout his career.
Meanwhile… The Daily Times has more on the cause of death of the former PPP leader Benazir Bhutto:
A 3-page medical report, a copy of which is available with Daily Times, stated that an open-head injury with depressed skull fracture caused a cardiopulmonary arrest. The Interior Ministry had claimed that Benazir suffered a head injury after hitting the lever of her vehicle’s sunroof. The report read, “Benazir was pulse-less and was not breathing when she was brought to the hospital. Her pupils were fixed dilated and non-reacting to light. A wound was present on the right temporo-parietal region through which blood was trickling down and a whitish material, which looked like brain matter was visible in the wound.”It said that cardiopulmonary resuscitation was given as soon as Benazir was brought to the hospital. azaz syed
Doug Ross has photos of the suspected assassin.