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Meet the New Bhutto

For Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, son of the late Benazir Bhutto and ex-President Asif Ali Zardari, his future really was determined before he was born—as is the case with dynastic politics. But few people knew that future would come so soon: Bilawal has just officially announced his entry in Pakistani politics. He didn’t waste any time. In Pakistan one may only run for office beginning at age 25; Bilawal turned 25 this year.

Giving a speech in Karachi on the sixth anniversary of twin suicide attacks aimed at Benazir Bhutto’s convoy that ultimately killed 150 people, Bilawal took a no-holds-barred approach, aiming broadsides at pretty much all of Pakistan’s political establishment, including cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Bhutto’s speech will not be remembered for its eloquence. Like his mother, Bilawal grew up speaking English as a first language and is uncomfortable speaking Urdu, Pakistan’s official language. But it is a signal of intent by Bilawal’s party, the PPP, which was routed in parliamentary elections this May. Part of its reconstruction project was to bring into the fold Bilawal, who had until recently been finishing his undergraduate degree at Oxford.

Though he didn’t necessarily do so with great eloquence, Bilawal made all the right noises. Differentiating himself from other parties, Bilawal was explicit and emphatic in his condemnation of Pakistan’s terrorist threat. He reinforced PPP’s socialist beginnings and focus on the poor, and he said he was not afraid of dying like his mother and grandfather before him (both were assassinated).

Although off to a good start, he has a lot to learn. And he needs to learn quickly if his party stands any chance of doing well in 2018.

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  • Ed

    Pretty sure his grandfather was hanged by Zia ul-Haq and not assassinated, although the difference is negligible.

    • f1b0nacc1

      The only thing that Zia ever did that I would endorse….this entire family are nothing more than a group of corrupt socialists…

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Just finishing up his undergraduate degree from Oxford at 25, that doesn’t speak well of his intelligence. Did he take 7 or 8 years to gain a 4 year degree?

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