India-born Bhutto applies for Pakistan identity card

July 8th, 2008 - 5:37 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto
By Muhammad Najeeb
Islamabad, July 8 (IANS) Sassi Bhutto, the India-born granddaughter of Pakistan’s former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, has applied for Pakistan national identity card apparently with an objective to enter politics and claim her share in the family property. Sassi, 26, in her application submitted to the registration authority has mentioned her place of birth as India. However, the city of birth has not been named in the application.

Daughter of Shahnawaz who was found dead in his Paris apartment in 1985, she arrived in Pakistan last month to a welcome by the Bhutto clan that had migrated to Larkana in Sindh from India.

According to family sources, she will stay in Pakistan “for a couple of weeks” before going back to her Afghan mother Rehana in the United States. The gulf between the Bhutto family has widened after last year’s assassination of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Zulfikar Bhutto’s three out of four children are dead while his youngest daughter Sanam lives a non-political life in London. Bhutto’s elder son Murtaza was killed in a police encounter in Karachi in 1996 when Benazir was the prime minister.

“The grandchildren of Zulfikar Bhutto are thinking of re-launching the party on the pattern Bhutto launched it in late 60s,” a source close to the family told IANS.

He said that in the recent days children of Murtaza - Fatima and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (junior), Sanam’s children Shahryar and Azadi and daughter of Shahnawaz, Sassi, held talks on the family affairs and politics. The meeting was held at 70 Clifton, the family house that was built by senior Bhutto in the 60s.

Presently, Murtaza’s widow Ghinwa heads the Shaheed-Bhutto faction of PPP. “It would be a PPP with the spirit which was present when senior Bhutto launched the party,” said the family source. He said the objective is to make the PPP a real party for the masses.

When asked if Benazir’s three children - Bilawal, Bakhtawar and Aseefa - will be included in the party, the source said it was premature to say that but “definitely Zardari will not be a member of that party”.

Benazir’s widower Asif Ali Zaradri presently co-chairs the PPP along with his 19-year son since her assassination.

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