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HomeIn PicturesFrom 4-yr-old on horseback to outspoken Pakistani opposition leader — Bilawal Bhutto...

From 4-yr-old on horseback to outspoken Pakistani opposition leader — Bilawal Bhutto then & now

When his mother Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in 2007, Bilawal became the titular head of the Pakistan Peoples Party. Today, he is at the epicentre of a political churning in Pakistan.

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New Delhi: Days after former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination at Rawalpindi on 27 December 2007, her son Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was named her successor as chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

He was 19 at the time, and a student at Oxford University. According to a BBC report, he was chosen as the titular head till the completion of his studies before taking over the reins of the PPP.

At the press conference where the announcement was made, Bilawal had said that his father Asif Ali Zardari would run the party till he is ready.

Fifteen years later, a somewhat older Bilawal, now 33, is at the epicentre of a major political churning underway in his country as head of the opposition PPP, which was founded by his grandfather and former PM late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

The following are a series of photographs from various junctures of the young leader’s life.

The first four photographs were taken in September 1992 at the Bhutto residence in Karachi. Benazir Bhutto, then the Leader of Opposition, was to host a ‘SAARC Opposition leaders seminar’, which was attended by the late former Indian Prime Minister V.P. Singh and Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina, among others. The photos were taken a day before the event.

ThePrint Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta, an editor with India Today at the time, was good friends with Benazir Bhutto. A fan of Indian classical music, the former PM had requested him to bring along some CDs. While both of them were talking, ThePrint’s National Photo Editor Praveen Jain, who was then with The Pioneer, saw a young Bilawal and his sister Bakhtawar riding a horse and feeding goats in the garden.

The siblings happily obliged when asked to pose for the camera.

Bilawal Bhutto followed his family's footsteps joined politics, whereas his sister chairperson of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
While Bilawal followed in his family’s footsteps and joined politics, his sister Bakhtawar (right) is now chairperson of the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, which was founded by their mother | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Bilawal's youngest sister seefa Bhutto Zardari, who was not born then, joined politics recently | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Bilawal is all smiles as he poses for the camera with his sister on horseback | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Bilwal Bhutto took over the position of his mother (chairman of PPP) three days after she was assassinated in 2007 | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Bilawal with a goat in the garden of the Bhutto residence | Praveen Jain | ThePrint
In this 5 April photo shared by Bakhtawar on Twitter, a portrait of the late Benazir Bhutto hangs in the room as Bilawal shares a light moment with his father Asif Ali Zardari | @BakhtawarBZ
In this 5 April photo shared by Bakhtawar on Twitter, a portrait of the late Benazir Bhutto hangs in the room as Bilawal shares a light moment with his father Asif Ali Zardari | Twitter/@BakhtawarBZ
Chairman of PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressing public gathering at Taseel Dargai on 23 March | Photo: @BakhtawarBZ 5
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addresses a public gathering at Dargai tehsil on 23 March | Twitter/@BakhtawarBZ
Bakhtawar and Bilawal at the former's wedding in January last year | @BBhuttoZardari
Bakhtawar and Bilawal at the former’s wedding in January last year | Twitter/@BBhuttoZardari
Bilawal Bhutto with his youngest sister Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, who has made her political debut with PPP | Photo: @AseefaBZ
Bilawal and his youngest sister Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, who made her political debut with the PPP in 2020, at a rally in Karachi in February | Twitter/@AseefaBZ

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