Bhutto's son launches political career

2012-12-27 20:17
Bilawal Bhutto

Bilawal Bhutto

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Islamabad - The son of Pakistan's former premier Benazir Bhutto formally launched his political career on Thursday with severe criticism of the judiciary for the slow trial of his mother's alleged killers.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, 24, delivered an explosive speech in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, a town in the southern province of Sindh, as tens of thousands of people gathered there to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Bhutto's death.

Lampooning Pakistan's top judge for investigating price rises for food and fuel, Bilawal questioned why it was taking so long for the judiciary to convict the suspects.

"I, son of B.B. (Benazir Bhutto), ask why the killers of my mother are not being punished," the Oxford graduate said.

Bhutto was killed in a gun-and-bomb attack as she left a political rally in the garrison town of Rawalpindi in 2007.

Then Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was blamed for ordering the assassination, but he denied the accusations before his death in a US drone strike in August 2009.

Five men allegedly part of the hit squad are in police custody. According to the Pakistani media, defence lawyers and prosecutors have blamed each other for the frequent adjournments and slow pace of the trial ongoing in a lower court.

There is a troubled relationship between Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the top judiciary, mainly over charges of corruption and issues about the conduct of President Asif Ali Zardari, widower of Bhutto.

President Zardari also spoke before his supporters on Thursday, pledging that the PPP-led coalition had made "all arrangements for transparent elections".

The government is set to complete its five-year term in March 2013. Under the constitution, a national vote can be called up to three months before the parliament's lower house retires or it must be held within two months after it retires.

Zardari made his son the chairperson of the PPP soon after Bhutto's assassination, and declared himself the co-chairman.Author: Yasir Ali Mansuri

- SAPA

Read more on:    bilawal bhutto zardari  |  benazir bhutto  |  pakistan
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