This day in history: Benazir Bhutto becomes Pakistan’s first female PM

Benazir made history by becoming the first woman to lead a Muslim state

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Benazir Bhutto takes her oath in 1988 as the first Muslim Woman Prime Minister of any Muslim State. Photo: file

KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party Leader Benazir Bhutto took the oath to become Pakistan’s first female prime minister on December 2, 1988.

At the time, Benazir was one of the youngest head of states across the globe and became the first woman to lead a Muslim state.

Charismatic and politically astute, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, is an icon not just in Pakistan but the entire Muslim world.

Remembering the historical day, her son and PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted: “2 December 1988: #PPP elected the worlds youngest PM & the Muslim worlds first female PM. Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was sworn into office for the first time.”

During her political career, Benazir became the voice of the powerless and oppressed and also spent a significant time challenging dictators for restoration of democracy in the country. Many of her supporters and followers still continue to mourn her death.

She was elected as Pakistan’s prime minister twice but failed to complete her tenure both times.


After being in Dubai for eight years, the two-time prime minister returned to Pakistan on 18 October, 2007. She survived a suicide attack on her welcome procession, which unfortunately killed 150 people.

On December 27, 2007, Benazir was assassinated during her ill-fated rally at Liaquat Bagh prior to the holding of elections in the country. She appeared from the sunroof of her jeep to acknowledge the cheers of the supporters when she was killed. She was 53 at the time.

Benazir was buried alongside her family members in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, Sindh.