Begum Nusrat Bhutto (1929 - 2011)
Begum Nusrat Bhutto was born on 23rd March 1929, former first
lady of Pakistan, widow of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and mother of
Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Chairperson Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, who was
also a former Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Nusrat Ispahani is a Iranian from Kurdistan Province, Iran by heritage and
daughter of a wealthy Iranian businessman who settled in Karachi, British
India before its partition. Nusrat met Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in Karachi where
they got married. That was to be Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's 2nd marriage.
As first lady from 1973-1977, Nusrat Bhutto functioned as a political
hostess and accompanied her husband on a number of overseas visits. In 1979,
after the trial and execution of her husband, she and her daughters were
imprisoned and put under house arrest by the new regime of Zia-ul-Haq.
However, due to health concerns she was later permitted to leave the country
for London, where she was later joined by her daughters Benazir and Sanam.
She became leader of the People's Party of Pakistan during her London exile
and although she was chairman of the party for life, her daughter Benazir
Bhutto later replaced her in the post.
After returning to Pakistan in the late 1980s, she served several terms as
an MP to the National Assembly from the family constituency of Larkana in
Sindh. Also, during the administrations of her daughter Benazir, she became
a cabinet minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
She outlived three of her children Murtaza, Benazir and Shahnawaz Bhutto. Of
the immediate family, only Sanam Bhutto, daughter of Nusrat and Z A Bhutto
remains. She suffered from the combined effects of a stroke and Alzheimer's
Disease. She passed away on October 23, 2011. Begum Nusrat Bhutto was 82
years old at the time of her death.