22 May | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Aseefa Bhutto joins ‘illustrious list’ of family politics in Pakistan!

Lawmakers from various parliamentary parties welcome another PPP leader from Bhutto-Zardari family for joining National Assembly as member after her unopposed victory from Benazirabad in recent by-polls

Lawmakers from different parliamentary parties welcomed Pakistan People’s Party leader Aseefa Bhutto – the youngest daughter of President Asif Zardari and the late Benazir Bhutto – for joining the National Assembly as member after her unopposed victory in by-election from Benazirabad – one of the Sindh’s districts famous for its traditional embroidery.

On the requisition from the opposition benches, the House met in the Parliament House in Islamabad with National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq in the chair. Aseefa Bhutto was elected unopposed in the by-election in NA-207 – a seat vacated by her father after his election as the president. It is noted that the assembly hall reverberated with pro-PPP slogans upon her arrival.

Aseefa Bhutto became first child in Pakistan to receive oral polio vaccine in 1994

Interestingly, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto gave his headphones to Aseefa Bhutto to hear the speaker while administering the oath. After taking the oath, and signing the roll of members, Aseefa Bhutto went to the guest gallery and shook hands with her family members, and other party leaders and workers. Later, she went to the Speaker’s Chamber and to meet her father, who watched the proceedings on a TV screen there.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Balochistan Chief Minister Sarfaraz Bugti, Faryal Talpur, Sherry Rahman, Senate members and the People’s Party leaders also present in the gallery. Embodying spirit of her mother, Aseefa Bhutto donned a striking blue dress with a shawl-like white scarf to cover head and shoulders.

Generally, political class in Pakistan is somehow dynastic, a closely packed circle of the who’s-who of the society who are mostly recognized by their surnames rather than achievements or contributions. As per analysts, the family-centric politics leaves little space for aspiring politicians from lower- and middle-class and professional backgrounds in the top tiers of mainstream political parties.


In 1994, Aseefa Bhutto became the first child in Pakistan to receive the oral polio vaccine, as part of the country’s first National Immunization Day. Benazir Bhutto, then prime minister, gave the drops to her daughter herself, a compelling endorsement of the campaign. She said that the moment was an inspirational one for the nation, and encouraged women to believe that polio drops were safe. She has raised profile of the polio eradication campaign in Pakistan and around the world.

“We must ensure that women and girls have access to quality education so that they are able to obtain leadership positions. At the same time, we must make sure that men and boys are being educated about equality,” she had said. “It is impossible to avoid politics. I am keen to make my own mark and ensure that I have skills to best serve Pakistan. I have dedicated all efforts to my education while focusing on healthcare and humanitarian concerns,” she had said in a past interview.

In March, People’s Party Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi announced that Aseefa Bhutto will become Pakistan’s First Lady as President Asif Ali Zardari consulted his party officials on the matter. A first lady is the president’s spouse; however, Asif Zardari is a widower because his wife Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in 2007.