Aseefa: Aks-e-Benazir in many ways

In Local
April 15, 2024


For Abdullah Shah, a devoted supporter of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), it was as if the late Benazir Bhutto has a comeback when he saw her youngest daughter Aseefa Bhutto Zardari taking oath as a member of the National Assembly (MNA) on Monday.

Witnessing a poignant moment flashing on the TV screens, Shah couldn’t help but feel that the essence of the late Benazir Bhutto returning to parliament. Embodying the spirit of her legendary mother, Aseefa, also known as Bibi Aseefa, donned a striking blue dress with a white dupatta.

On Monday, Aseefa made her parliamentary debut after winning unopposed the by-election in NA-207 Shaheed Benazirabad. At the oath-taking the devout supporters of the PPP saw a striking resemblance to the later former prime minister, when she took oath for the first time in 1988.

“I was too young when late Benazir Bhutto first entered the National Assembly,” Shah recalled. “But today, witnessing Bibi Aseefa’s confidence, her voice, and her familiar smile, it’s as if Bibi Aseefa carries her mother’s legacy forward.”

Also read: Aseefa’s unopposed victory challenged in SHC

Aseefa has been playing active role in the PPP’s political activities for quite some time. During the election campaigns for the February 8 general elections, particularly in Sindh, she led rallies in different areas, and caught significant attention nationwide, particularly among the women.

The party activists call her ‘Aks-e-Benazir’ [Image of Benazir], as many saw striking similarities between her and her mother. “Tum he ho dukhtar-e-Pakistan” [You’re the daughter of Pakistan], a song was dedicated to her during her election rallies.

With her concise yet powerful speeches, she encouraged party workers to come out to vote, effectively galvanised voters to throw their support behind the party, with the prospect of her brother, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, ascending to the position of prime minister.

Many party members noted that Aseefa inherited her mother’s qualities of an ‘Awami’ [people’s] leader. During Eidul Fitr, she engaged with voters in her constituency, showcasing her natural affinity for connecting with the people.

“Look at her confidence. Listen to her voice and compare them with that of Mohtarma [Benazir Bhutto] – it’s the same,” remarked Usman Parhyar, from Karachi’s Muwach Goth, as he recounted a surge of youth joining the party during her election campaign.

Also read: Aseefa sworn in as MNA amid opposition ruckus

“Now, with her presence in parliament, the voice of the common people will echo within its chambers,” he asserted, highlighting the positive message her entry sends globally about Pakistan’s inclusivity, particularly for young women like Aseefa.

In March 2022, during an anti-government rally led by Bilawal, Aseefa sustained minor injuries from a drone camera strike. Undeterred, she bravely rejoined the long march after receiving medical treatment, wearing her trademark smile that sent a resolute message of a true leader.

Aseefa garnered further attention when accompanied her father, Asif Ali Zardari at his oath-taking as the President of Pakistan. At the ceremony, she was dressed in green with a white dupatta – the similar dress worn by the late Benazir Bhutto when she was sworn in as the prime minister in 1988.

Possessing a bachelor’s degree in politics and sociology, as well as a master’s degree in global health and development, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari has served as a goodwill ambassador for polio eradication in the Pakistan.

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