BBZ — A shining star of Bhutto family
BORN on 21st September 1988, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (BBZ) at the age of 33 is currently serving as Pakistan’s 37th Foreign Affairs Minister – following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was Pakistan’s 8th and 12th Minister of Foreign Affairs during the 1960s/70s as well as the country’s 9th Prime Minister.
His mother, Benazir Bhutto, was elected the 1st female Prime Minister of any Muslim majority-country in 1988.
Despite losing his mother to an assassination attempt on 27th December 2007 and countless more across the country as it turned into turmoil.
BBZ was only 19 years old – his mother, at 26 lost her father to the corrupt and undemocratic forces of the time.
Three days after her loss, Bilawal Bhutto was appointed Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party – the same PPP founded by his grandfather in 1967.
While coping to the loss of his mother, BBZ committed himself to representing what she stood for and what nation she represented.
Destined to continue the legacy of his family, his political grooming/environment has made him a confident person to represent Pakistan and its people.
Though BBZ has the attention of the entire nation, given such a political profile, he must deliver on his performances – as he represents Pakistan, a nation of more than 220 million people with incalculable potential.
While having a foreign education and recognised in the entire political world across the globe through the sacrifices/passion of the Bhutto family – the young man decided to stay where he has lost so much and give to the people his life.
Political dynasties, while frowned upon, do exist – children born into a family surrounded by political tensions/aspirations may develop a self-fulfilling prophecy to continue the family legacy – dynasties only become problematic when they turn into dictatorships.
While some consider Bilawal Bhutto Zardari an heir who had it easy, some consider him a ray of hope, some envious – yet all acknowledge the weight of what his last name carries.
His father, Asif Ali Zardari, served as the 11th President of Pakistan and is famously known as the godfather of Pakistani politics – the hope is to see his son announced as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, a tribute to his late mother.
Dynasties aren’t just exclusive to politics yet is rightfully the most scrutinised – someone legally/officially representing their country must be competent and a true voice of the people.
Pakistan is first and foremost a democratic country – it allows individuals to challenge, to form into groups/parties, to contest, to represent their people.
This isn’t exclusive to your name or your family, every citizen has an equal voice and right to demand for what they legally believe (the true 1967 message of the PPP).
With his political career constantly documented, only time will tell what changes BBZ will bring.
While held as an inspiration and a role model, do understand the events he’s personally gone through, the afflictions he has faced with his mental health and physical well-being.
While pictures may show happiness and confidence, only the man behind the eyes knows what they’re dealing with – yet there is a sense that great things are to come from him and the family legacy will live on.
As the son of the first democratically elected female Prime Minister of Pakistan and the former President of Pakistan, it would only be fitting if Bilawal Bhutto Zardari becomes the Crown Prince of Pakistan.
—The writer is Lawyer, Businessman.