Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Urdu: ذُوالفقارعلى بهُٹو‎, Sindhi: ذوالفقار علي ڀُٽو, ) (5 January 1928 – 4 April 1979) was a Pakistani politician and statesman who served as the 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that as the 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. He was also the founder of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and served as its chairman until his execution in 1979.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was educated at the University of Southern California, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Oxford, after which he trained as a barrister at Lincoln's Inn. He entered national politics as one of President Iskander Mirza's cabinet members, before being assigned several ministries during President Ayub Khan's military rule from 1958. Appointed Foreign Minister in 1963, Bhutto was a proponent of Operation Gibraltar in Indian-administered Kashmir, leading to war with India in 1965. After the Tashkent Agreement ended hostilities, Bhutto fell out with Ayub and was sacked from government. He founded the PPP in 1967, contesting general elections held by President Yahya Khan in 1970. The Awami League in East Pakistan won a majority of seats, but neither Yahya nor Bhutto signalled yielding power. Subsequent uprisings led to the secession of Bangladesh, and Pakistan losing the war against Bangladesh-allied India in 1971. Bhutto was handed over the presidency in December 1971 and emergency rule was imposed.

By July 1972, Bhutto had recovered 93,000 prisoners of war and 5,000 square miles of Indian-held territory after signing the Simla Agreement. He strengthened ties with China and Saudi Arabia, recognised Bangladesh, and hosted the second Organisation of the Islamic Conference in Lahore in 1974. Domestically, Bhutto's reign saw parliament unanimously approve a new constitution in 1973, upon which he appointed Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry President and switched to the newly empowered office of Prime Minister. He also played an integral role in initiating the country's atomic bomb project. However, Bhutto's nationalisation of much of Pakistan's fledgling industries, healthcare, and educational institutions led to economic stagnation. After dissolving provincial governments in Balochistan was met with unrest, Bhutto also ordered an military operation in the province in 1973, causing thousands of civilian casualties.

Despite civil disorder, aggravated by incidents of repression by Bhutto's Federal Security Force, the PPP won parliamentary elections in 1977 by a wide margin. However, the opposition alleged widespread vote rigging, and violence escalated across the country. On 5 July that same year, Bhutto was deposed by his appointed army chief General Zia-ul-Haq in a bloodless coup before being controversially tried and executed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1979 for authorising the murder of a political opponent. While Bhutto remains a contentious figure in Pakistan's history, his party, the PPP, remains Pakistan's largest national political party, his son Murtaza Bhutto was an influential figure in the country's politics, his daughter Benazir Bhutto twice served as Prime Minister, and his son-in-law and Benazir's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, is the current President.

Read more about Zulfikar Ali BhuttoEarly Life, Political Career, Pakistan Peoples Party, Leader of Pakistan, Re-arrest and Trial, Death Sentence and Appeal, Bibliography

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Famous quotes containing the words bhutto and/or ali:

    The people who resent me do so because I’m a woman, I’m young, and I’m a Bhutto. Well, the simple answer is, it doesn’t matter that I’m a woman, it doesn’t matter that I’m young, and it’s a matter of pride that I’m a Bhutto.
    —Benazir Bhutto (b. 1953)

    That was always the difference between Muhammad Ali and the rest of us. He came, he saw, and if he didn’t entirely conquer—he came as close as anybody we are likely to see in the lifetime of this doomed generation.
    Hunter S. Thompson (b. 1939)