Benazir Bhutto Essay

30968 WordsNov 21, 2012124 Pages
Benazir Bhutto Benazir Bhutto KATHERINE M. DOHERTY and CRAIG A. DOHERTY Reproduced in pdf form by Sani H Panwhar Introduction The first time that we saw Benazir Bhutto we were greatly impressed by her poise, beauty, and youth. Here was a woman a couple of years younger than us who had lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the same time we did, appearing on the news as the leading opponent of the military dictator General Zia in Pakistan. It was exciting to listen to the accolades the press bestowed upon her. After she had become prime minister and our editor suggested that we do a book about her, we began to look more seriously at the first woman to head a modern Islamic state and the youngest head of state in the world. The more research we did, the more struck we were with the adversity that Benazir Bhutto had faced and overcome in her long struggle with the military powers of Pakistan. She has inherited her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's political legacy and sits as only the second popularly elected head of state in her country's brief history. It is a precarious position, as she well knows. Military coups, assassinations, the exiling of leaders and, in the case of her father, kangaroo court sentences and executions are commonplace in the political arena in which she operates. The fact that she is a woman adds to the insecurity of her position. Many on Pakistan's religious right feel that women should be restricted to activities within the home. General Zia had done much during his eleven-year reign to reinforce that position. The illiteracy rate among women in Pakistan far exceeds that of men, and the rate at which women die in childbirth is one of the highest in the world. Under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, women had begun to make gains, but General Zia had erased them. The other problems her country faces are nearly staggering. Illiteracy and poverty

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