11 May, 2021

An Evening With The Bhuttos

Outlook meets the young Bilawal, Benazir's 18-year-old son, in Dubai, and finds out what it means to be a future heir of the Bhutto legacy

Charles Crowell/ Arabian Pictures
An Evening With The Bhuttos
If there is any doubt whether this young man with a famous surname has a strong sense of history, it's dispelled instantly by the book that Bilawal 'Bhutto' Zardari is currently reading—Perfect Hostage: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi by Justin Wintle. It chronicles the struggle of Myanmar's iconic female leader, even now kept in detention by the military junta, altogether for 18 years, her supporters beaten, jailed, or killed. The echoing parallels between the story of Suu Kyi and that of Bilawal's own mother, former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who spent years in jail battling a dictator (President Zia-ul-Haq), are inescapable. So is the subliminal message, even if Bilawal doesn't acknowledge it.

As Benazir prepares to end her seven-year-long self-imposed exile in Dubai to return home and, perhaps, challenge the all-powerful military in Pakistan ahead of elections later this year, this 18-year-old, whom some see as the Rahul Gandhi of Pakistan, is preparing himself for the time when he must perforce take on the Bhutto...

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