A woman of grand aspirations with a taste for complex political maneuvering, Ms. Bhutto was first elected prime minister in 1988 at the age of 35. The daughter of one of Pakistan’s most charismatic and democratically inclined prime ministers, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, she inherited the mantle of the populist Peoples Party that he founded, and which she came to personify.The NY Times
Despite numerous accusations of corruption and an evident predilection for luxury, Ms. Bhutto, the pale-skinned scion of a wealthy landowning family, successfully cast herself as a savior of Pakistan’s millions of poor and disenfranchised. She inspired devotion among her followers, even in exile, and the image of her floating through a frenzied crowd in her gauzy white head scarf became iconic.
In October, she staged a high-profile return to her home city of Karachi, drawing hundreds of thousands of supporters to an 11-hour rally and leading a series of political demonstrations in opposition to the country’s military leader, President Pervez Musharraf.