Biography of Zulficar Ali Bhutto (1928-1979)

Pakistani politician born in Larkana on January 5, 1928 and died on April 4, 1979. Son of aristocrats, received a Western education. In 1952, he/she graduated in political science from the University of Berkeley, United States; He/She also graduated in law from the University of Oxford, Great Britain.

He founded the Pakistan People Party (PPP) and at age 30 he/she was appointed Minister of Commerce by Marshal Ayub Khan. Subsequently, Comissioned for Kashmir Affairs Department. In 1963 he/she held the portfolio of Foreign Affairs, and then returned to the same position in the Government of Yhaya Khan, successor of Ayub Khan. In 1970 his party won a huge victory by majority in western Pakistan, most who retained until 1977 he/she was overthrown by Zia Ul-Haq.

In 1971 he/she ascended to the Presidency of his country after the so-called war of the 14 days against India, fruit of which was the birth of Bangla Desh as an independent country. This event provided a great prestige to the then-Minister of Foreign Affairs. Three years later he/she left the Presidency and was sworn in as Prime Minister, a position he/she held until 1977, year in which he/she was deposed.

It harvested its most important successes as ruler at the international level. Put an end to the war with the India in 1971 and arranged the repatriation of 90,000 prisoners to Pakistan. In 1976 he/she reestablished diplomatic and commercial relations with the India.

Autocrat with progressive ideas, reformed the Administration and introduced numerous progressive provisions: nationalized large industrial and banking sectors, and withdrew most of its prerogatives-military justice.

Opponents described it as despotic. Despite winning the 1977 elections, street riots were on the rise until the army took power. He/She was overthrown by general Zia Ul-Haq on July 5, 1977, by the means of a coup d'etat. He/She was first arrested and in September of the same year he/she was accused of having ordered the murder of his political opponent Ahmed Reza Kasuri in 1974, so it was tried and sentenced to death on March 8, 1978 by the High Court of Lahore.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto died in prison in Rawalpindi, in the region of Pakistani Kashmir, on April 4, 1979. He/She was married and had two sons: Shah Nawaz Khan, died in suspicious circumstances in 1987 in Cannes, France and current leader of the PPP, Benazir Bhutto.