Benazir Bhutto was named after her paternal aunt, whom her father was very fond of, but had lost when she contracted influenza and had died at boarding school in Pune. Benazir was born on June 21, 1953, and, as reported, was very ‘pink’ at birth thereby acquiring the alias “Pinky” from her close family members. She was the eldest of four children.

According to historian Stanley Wolpert, in Zulfi Bhutto of Pakistan, the baby Benazir was almost six months old when her father first saw her, for Begum Nusrat Bhutto had returned to Karachi, whilst Bhutto Sahib was pursuing his fledgling career as a barrister in England. As many believe - and believe rightly - even to this day, Bhutto Sahib thought: “She was a beautiful child.”

Benazir is reported to have said that Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto insisted on only one discipline, and that repeatedly, “you do well in your studies.” He was known to have kept track of their school reports through telephone from whatever part of the globe he was in. Late Begum Nusrat Bhutto is reported to have said that the father and daughter had stark similarities and that even the shapes of their hands matched!

As an 18-year old innocent daughter and a young student at Radcliffe College, Benazir sat behind her father, when he delivered his famous, impassioned speech to the UN Security Council on December 15, 1971. What better to have been trained by one of the most superior statesmen of the times, and that too, her father. During tense, diplomatic, wartime meetings such as with Indian journalists, diplomats, and politicians during the East Pakistan war, she was advised: “Don’t look sad, and don’t look happy.” She was present, by design, at the Governor’s House in Simla Hill Station on the historic day of July 2, 1972, when the Simla Peace Treaty was signed.

In almost tacit, understated reciprocity, she hardly ever spoke about herself or her agenda many years later whilst campaigning, but glorified her father’s vision and sacrifice throughout her relatively short political career.

Two years after Mujib and most of his family had been assassinated in Dhaka, Benazir watched on as her father was taken into “protective custody” in the aftermath of the Zia-led coup. She is reported by Mr Wolpert to have “faithfully attended” her father’s ‘murder’ trial in the courts of the land. After being “murdered for a murder that he did not commit”, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto continued to live through his political heir and daughter, Benazir Bhutto. Wherever she went in the world, she was greeted with the incessant chant of “Jiyey Bhutto”.

Benazir was a liberal, forward-looking leader, who, unfortunately, found that time was short during her two periods of rule, and not there at all when she sacrificed her life attempting for the third time to bring some semblance of democracy to her motherland.

In a near-prophetic manner, Benazir Bhutto wrote in her work, entitled Reconciliation, of happenings such as those experienced recently in the Middle East: “If the world community is to prevent a clash of civilisations, the way must be to promote the building blocks of democracy in the Islamic world.”

In the same book, Benazir Bhutto writes: “I agree with those who see economic development as leading to and consonant with democratic development.” Sadly, though, those that inherited the PPP and Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan seem to have lost her message. The brotherhood of all Pakistanis, whether at home or overseas, appeal to the Almighty to please right such wrongs on the eve of her death anniversary now approaching on December 27th.

Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto lies in eternal peace in her ancestral Garhi Khuda Bukhsh.

She is succeeded by her three young children.