Bilawal studies in Oxford as Pakistan votes

February 18th, 2008 - 6:52 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto
By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, Feb 18 (IANS) As a nervous Pakistan went to the polls Monday, young Bilawal Zardari Bhutto - son of slain former premier Benazir Bhutto - spent the day hard at work, his guardian said. Zardari Bhutto, all of 19 years old, had the mantle of political leadership thrust upon him when his mother was killed in an election rally Dec 27 last year.

Unexpectedly appointed chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Dec 30, Bilawal came to Britain in early January to study history at Christ Church College - the same Oxford University college where his grandfather, former Pakistan prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, read law in the 1950s.

“Bilawal is very much in Oxford, and studying,” said Wajid Hasan, former Pakistani high commissioner to Britain and Bhutto Zardari’s guardian.

“For the time being he is concentrating on his studies. These Oxford boys come under so much academic pressure I doubt he has much time for anything else,” Hasan told IANS.

“He is a very earnest boy,” he added.

Overseas Pakistanis are not allowed to vote in elections back home, although government employees who are abroad have postal ballots for them.

Although Bhutto Zardari has been away from Pakistan during the election campaign, the PPP made extensive use of video footage of him exhorting supporters to vote for the party in his mother’s name.

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