Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was born on January 5, 1928. He was the only son of
Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto completed his early education from Bombay's
Cathedral High School. In 1947, he joined University of Southern
California (USC), and later joined University of California at Berkeley
in June 1949. After completing his degree with honors in political
science at Berkeley in June 1950, he was admitted to Oxford.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto married Nusrat Isphahani on September 8, 1951. He
was called to bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1953 and in the same year his
first child, Benazir Bhutto was born on June 21. On his return to
Pakistan, Bhutto started practicing law at Dingomal's.
In 1954, when one unit scheme envisaging combining of the four
provinces of Punjab, Sind, NWFP and Baluchistan into one unit to be
called 'West Pakistan' was enforced, Bhutto opposed the scheme
vehemently. In 1958, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto joined President Mirza's
cabinet as Commerce minister. After Ayub Khan took over, Bhutto joined
the cabinet as the youngest member. In 1963, he took over as Foreign
Minister from Muhammad Ali Bogra.
His first major achievement was to conclude Sino-Pakistan boundary
agreement on March 2, 1963. In mid 1964, Bhutto helped convince Ayub of
the wisdom of establishing closer economic and diplomatic links with
Turkey and Iran. The trio formed RCD later on. In June 1966, Bhutto left
Ayub's cabinet over differences concerning Tashkent agreement.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto launched Pakistan People's Party (PPP) after
leaving the cabinet of Ayub Khan. In the general elections held in
December 1970, PPP won a large majority in West Pakistan but, failed to
reach an agreement with Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman, the majority winner from
East Pakistan. Following the 1971 war and the separation of East
Pakistan, Yahya Khan resigned and Bhutto took over as President and
Chief Martial Law Administrator on December 20, 1971.
In early 1972, Bhutto nationalized ten categories of major
industries, and withdrew Pakistan from Commonwealth of nations and SEATO
when Britain and other western countries recognized the new state of
Bangladesh. On March 1, he introduced land reforms, and on July 2, 1972,
signed Simla Agreement with India which paved way for the return of
occupied lands and Pakistani POWs captured in East Pakistan in the 1971
After the National Assembly passed the 1973 constitution, Bhutto was
sworn-in as the Prime Minister of the country.
On December 30, 1973, Bhutto laid the foundation of Pakistan's first
steel mill at Pipri, near Karachi. On January 1, 1974, Bhutto
nationalized all banks. On February 22, 1974, the Second Islamic Summit
was inaugurated in Lahore. Heads of States of most of the thirty eight
Islamic countries attended.
Following a political crisis in the country, Bhutto was imprisoned by
General Zia-ul-Haq who imposed Martial Law on July 5, 1977.
On April 4, 1979, the former Prime Minister was hanged, after the
Supreme Court upheld the death sentence passed by the Lahore High Court.
The High Court had given him death sentence in the case of murder of the
father of a dissident PPP politician.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was buried in his ancestral village, at Garhi
Khuda Baksh next to his father's grave.