Why did Pakistan’s new President Zardari decide to make daughter Asifa the first lady? Specifications

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

Asif Ali Zardari with daughter Asifa Bhutto. file image/ppp

Asifa Bhutto is the daughter of Asif Ali Zardari from his marriage to former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007. Asifa, 31, has worked on polio eradication, campaigned for her brother Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and is often seen with her father.

Pakistan’s new President Asif Ali Zardari has decided to name his daughter Asifa Bhutto, the country’s first lady, in a very deliberate move, sources told CNN-News18 on Tuesday.

Asifa is Zardari’s daughter from his marriage to former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007. Asifa, 31, has worked on polio eradication, campaigned for her brother Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and is often seen with her father.

Sources said that Zardari and Bilawal do not have good relations. He said Bilawal thinks he is the only Bhutto but Zardari tells him to first learn the basics of politics and not become the Prime Minister or President in the first attempt.

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

According to sources, Maryam Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan Muslim League (N) is now in the official position, becoming the Chief Minister of Punjab province and whenever the next elections are held, Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) will have a credible woman in Asifa. Confront him and even confront him if Bilawal is “out of control”.

This is not the first time that a President of Pakistan has named his daughter as First Lady. Ayub Khan did the same because at that time his wife was quite old and was not well versed in diplomatic protocol. In Pakistan, there is a provision to name the President’s daughter Khatoon-e-Awal.

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

According to sources, since the Pakistan election results this time were extremely fragmented, Zardari is worried about the future of his party and does not want to be completely dependent on Bilawal or allow him free flow of funds.