Why New Pakistan President Zardari Decided to Make Daughter Aseefa First Lady | Exclusive Details

Last Updated: March 13, 2024, 00:56 IST

Asif Ali Zardari with daughter Aseefa Bhutto. File image/PPP

Aseefa Bhutto is Asif Ali Zardari’s daughter from his marriage with former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007. The 31-year-old has worked on polio eradication, campaigned for her brother Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and is often seen alongside her father

Pakistan’s new President Asif Ali Zardari deciding to name his daughter, Aseefa Bhutto, the First Lady of the country, is a very calculated move, sources told CNN-News18 on Tuesday.

Aseefa is Zardari’s daughter from his marriage with former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007. The 31-year-old has worked on polio eradication, campaigned for her brother Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and is often seen alongside her father.

Zardari and Bilawal are not on great terms, said sources. They added that Bilawal thinks he is the only Bhutto but Zardari tells him to learn the basics of politics first, not become prime minister or president at the first go.

The second reason, they said, is that he is more affectionate towards his daughters. He wants Aseefa to take the lead in the next few years and become a “second Benazir”, said the sources.

According to sources, Maryam Nawaz Sharif from the Pakistan Muslim League (N) is now in an official position, having become the chief minister of the Punjab province, and whenever elections happen next, Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will have a credible female face in Aseefa to counter her and even take on Bilawal in case he “goes out of control”.

This is not the only time a Pakistan president has named his daughter the First Lady. Ayub Khan did the same as his wife was quite aged at the time and not well versed with diplomatic protocols. Pakistan has a provision to name the president’s daughter as Khatoon-e-Awwal.

PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari was on Sunday sworn in as the 14th president of Pakistan, taking over as the head of the state for a historic second time.

According to sources, as the results of the Pakistan elections this time were extremely fragmented, Zardari is worried about his party’s future and doesn’t want to be completely dependent on Bilawal or allow him to have access to a free flow of funds.

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