Bhutto Is Nominated as Pakistan Prime Minister
Benazir Bhutto, who gave up the life of a jet-setting socialite to avenge her father’s death, achieved her highest ambition today when she was named the Muslim world’s first woman prime minister.
Supporters set off fireworks and fired into the air in celebration as Pakistan’s acting president, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, told the nation of 104 million people in a television address that Bhutto was their choice.
Bhutto, 35, will be sworn in on Friday.
Initial overseas reaction to the restoration of elected government in Pakistan after Mohammad Zia ul-Haq’s 11 years of military rule was positive.
A State Department official said in Washington: “Obviously we are very pleased to see a successful election process. It was in the true spirit of democracy.”
Britain’s large Pakistani community also reacted favorably. One of their leaders described the nomination as “a momentous step for democracy.”
Bhutto’s crusade to avenge her executed father, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, ended 107 days after the death in a plane crash of her foe, Zia.
“With this nomination the democratic character of the country is restored,” said former cabinet minister Khurshid Hasan Meer. “Her inauguration as prime minister is poetic justice.”
Retired Air Marshal Asghar Khan, a political rival, commented: “It’s a very good thing; they should have done it earlier. It’s time that a democratic process started.”
Ishaq Khan said he had redeemed his pledge to restore elected government to Pakistan and announced the lifting of a state of emergency in force since Zia died.