This Is How Becoming Prime Minister Affected Benazir Bhutto's Marriage

By Sarmad Amer | 27 Dec, 2016

Benazir Bhutto is known to many Pakistanis as the strong leader who steered the country during the tumultuous years following a long period of dictatorship and oppression in the country. She was the scion of the powerful Bhutto dynasty, and had experienced a lot because of the family she was born into.

 

Her marriage to Asif Ali Zardari was much talked about because it was an arranged one.

For Benazir Bhutto, a western educated, liberal young woman in her early thirties, it was rather odd for those around her to see her getting into an arranged marriage. Ever since the grand marriage ceremony in 1987, there was much congecture about the life that the couple actually led behind closed doors. Prime Minister Bhutto is reported to have told Los Angeles Times, in an interview shortly before her marriage, “I don’t really expect people in the West to understand. Every mother wants her daughter married and I felt obligations to my family and my religion.”

Benazir-Bhutto-and-Asif-Ali-Zardari-Wedding-1
Source: fashion360.pk

 

Following Prime Minister Bhutto’s assassination, on this day eight years ago, her husband became the center of attention

A note, that was allegedly written by Prime Minister Bhutto, was read by her son Bilawal three days after her assassination. Bilawal became the chairman and Asif Ali Zardari became co-chairman of Pakistan People’s Party, the political party that the Bhutto family has led since Benazir’s father Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto founded it with a bunch of like-minded political leaders in 1967.

Much was said about the political gains Asif Ali Zardari enjoyed following his wife’s assassination and the subsequent election victory of the Pakistan People’s Party in the general elections of 2008.

Benazir-Bhutto-and-Asif-Ali-Zardari-Wedding-2
Source: he99.blogspot.com

 

Conjectures following Benazir’s assassination also led to rumors that the marriage between Benazir and Asif was not a happy one

It was said that the marriage was a political settlement and not one in which Benazir was happy. It was also rumored that Mr. Zardari gained in terms of political leverage and illegal benefits during the time Benazir was Prime Minister, All these rumors were dismissed by the courts of Pakistan when they were brought against Zardari as formal charges.

Benazir-Bhutto-and-Asif-Ali-Zardari-Wedding-3
Source: fashionuniverse.net

Benazir opened up about the strain on her marriage that her becoming Prime Minister and the constant rumors about her relationship with her husband, caused

Benazir, while talking to Swedish journalist Stina Dabrowski in 1995, shared that the couple never got time for a honeymoon because within five months of their marriage general elections were called in Pakistan. She said that her husband thought he was marrying a “damsel in distress”, to protect her from a military dictator, but then when she became the most powerful person of the country, he was confused.

gif-benazir
Source: Stina Dabrowski

But, she shared, that the two endured because of all the love between them that developed after the marriage, despite a lot of stress following Asif being jailed and later exonerated in the court over corruption charges.

 

Here’s the full interview, where Benazir also shares her opinion on plastic surgery, abortion and whether becoming a politician makes a woman sexy:

 

 


Cover image via: maverickpakistanis.com

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