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Thursday Nov 26 2020

Blast from the past: How Benazir Bhutto announced her engagement to Asif Zardari

Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari during their wedding in Karachi, Pakistan. Photo Courtesy: Gulf News/Images Archives

The Bhutto family recently announced the engagement of Bakhawar Bhutto-Zardari, the elder daughter of former president Asif Ali Zardari and late prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The announcement — from the picture of Bakhtawar's parents on the  invitation card to her choice of dress for her dholak matching that which Benazir wore on her nikkah — takes us down memory lane, back to 1987, when the historic yet unexpected wedding ceremony of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto to Asif Ali Zardari took place.

Read more: Bakhtawar Bhutto reacts strongly to fake videos regarding her engagement

Bakhawar is set to exchange rings with Mahmood Chaudhary, the son of UAE-based businessman Younas Chaudhary, on November 27.

With pictures — of what has been claimed to be the invitation to the event — circulating on social media, here's a memory from the past when Benazir had announced her engagement to the world.

According to an article published in Dawn, the announcement of Benazir's engagement to Zardari was made through a press release issued from London by the PPP. 

In a statement, Benazir wrote: “Conscious of my religious obligations and duty to my family, I am pleased to proceed with the marriage proposal accepted by my mother, Nusrat Bhutto. The impending marriage will not in any way affect my political commitment to my country, my people, or the trail blazed by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for a free, federal democratic, and egalitarian Pakistan."

At that time, the political situation of the country had taken a downward trajectory with bomb blasts and sectarian killings. 

— Jang archives

“I stand as one with my countrymen in repudiating tyranny and its terrible heritage. The people of Pakistan deserve a better, more secure future and I shall be with them in seeking it. ... In view of the carnage caused by the car bombs and the sectarian killings, the ceremonies are being postponed. We cannot celebrate when our people suffer. Your suffering is our suffering. Our bond is beyond the vindictive grips of the tyrants. I shall be returning to Karachi shortly," Benazir had stated. 

On February 17, 1987,  Benazir Bhutto married Asif Ali Zardari, son of a renowned businessman and landowner Hakim Ali Zardari, in a lavish ceremony organised in Karachi.