Bilawal: One Without an Equal

28 Dec

The day he was born, his father named him ‘Bilawal’, which means “one without an equal”. He seems to compliment the meaning of his name while getting nourished in the Petri dish of a ‘dynasty- based political culture’. Bilawal’s name, itself, has established a unique example in the naming-system of Pakistani society. Usually the child uses the name of his/her father as the sir name. However, on December 30, 2007, after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal’s full name was revised as ‘Bilawal Bhutto Zardari‘ by his father Asif Ali Zardari. In his teenage he was granted the chairmanship of Pakistan’s largest political party, Pakistan People’s Party. At that time, young Bilawal supported ‘democracy’ as the ‘best revenge’.

On the fifth death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto, at the age of 24 (which is one year less than the age required to be a part of Pakistan’s Parliament), Bilawal Bhutto Zardari chose the mausoleum of Bhutto family in Gari Khuda Baksh as a launching pad for his political career. The very first political speech by the youngest ever chairman of Pakistan People’s Party, managed to gather 200,000 people from Pakistan. With his voice reflecting the tone of his slain mother, Bilawal registered a complaint in the court of the masses – why the judiciary can’t bring to book the assassins of my mother? The speech was delivered amidst an array of emotions, slogans recalling Benazir and Bhuttoism as an immortal ‘political thought’ in Pakistan.

Being a new entrant in politics, he has been active since the start of 2012. Earlier in May, in an interview given to CNN, Bilawal openly held former despot General Pervez Musharraf responsible for “murdering” his mother by providing her with insufficient security. On the other hand, the party has given illogical explanations over the assassination of Benzir Bhutto to the nation, the day it came into power. The level of bewilderment within the PPP circles can be judged from the contradictory statements given by the party members in one day. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira (a credible member of PPP) said that one of Benazir Bhutto’s suspected killers was killed in a drone strike where as the remaining accused languish in jail. Bilawal either doesn’t know about it or Kaira forgot to tell him. Few months back, the print media of Pakistan, reported different sources of PPP, which signalled towards the revelation of a list that contained names of those behind the murder of Benazir. The Interior Minister Rehaman Malik stated that the list wasn’t revealed earlier as the permission to do so had to be granted by the Supreme Court. Contrary to Rehman’s argument, the Court ascertained that the government wasn’t duty-bound to seek the permission of any court in the country for revealing names of Benazir’s murderers.

Before launching a political career, the young chairman should be clear about those involved in silencing her mother. An emotionally charged population could always gather around him as the loss of Benazir Bhutto is an irrecoverable tragedy for even those who disagreed with her political notions. He surely is ‘without an equal’, no teenage boy in Pakistan can achieve what he did five years back. The Indian media has projected Bilawal Bhutto Zardari more than Pakistani media (before the official start of his career as a politician). He has been likened to Rajiv Gandhi, but even the Indians confessed his precedence. Both Rajiv and Bilawal, share the same political background with slight differences. However, the Oxford-educated Bilawal unlike the Cambridge-educated Rajiv hasn’t contested a single election till now. A common student in Pakistan opines that it is doubtful whether Bilawal even knows the name of the city that lies next to Goth Shah, in the southern province of Sindh, Pakistan.

bhuttos and GandhisPhoto courtesy: Outlook Magazine August 25, 2008- Weekly News magazine of India


Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Political Ticker


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2 responses to “Bilawal: One Without an Equal

  1. aiman

    December 28, 2012 at 12:46 am

    i guess in the end it will come down to what he aims to bring to the political scene .is he (a foreigner as he will always be called )aiming to bring some real political stability or reforms.even he tries to deviate from the path his father and his ‘uncles’ clashing with judiciary (though he already had his say regarding judiciary how far can he go without facing the wrath of his elders.ure right about the murderers or suspects.seems like every one in ppp has a different suspect list.i personally think he is just a poster boy.if he is educated in ppp’s political ways by ppp’s leaders ,who have a mode of governance beyond comprehension and belief.then i am afraid he is just a ‘Bilawal’ only in name and people expecting any kind of good politics are deluded.

    • Fakiha Hassan Rizvi

      December 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      A valid argument indeed, Aiman. There is something really weird that I heard while purchasing some books. The shopkeepers were sharing their views about Bilawal and one of them siad that maybe someone like the Taliban would push Bilawal towards the fate of his mother and his father would again gain sympathy votes in the elections. Sort of unrealistic, but politics in Pakistan has never been that realistic as well. We need to wait and watch the impact of Bilawal’s entry into politics. If ‘young blood’ is required by political parties then we have more able youngsters than Bilawal that are more concerned and aware of the problems being faced by the country


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