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Benazir Bhutto '73 Assassinated

She called Harvard 'the very basis for my belief in democracy'

By Crimson News Staff

Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto '73 was assassinated Thursday at a campaign rally near the country's capital, Islamabad.

The former Eliot House resident, known as "Pinkie," died in a suicide attack after an assailant shot her and blew himself up, killing at least 20 others. Her death spurred rioting that has already claimed five lives in Pakistan as of Thursday afternoon.

Twice prime minister of Pakistan and the daughter of former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto returned from exile in October to lead her party in parliamentary elections scheduled for Jan. 8. A large enough victory for her party would have allowed her a third tenure as prime minister.

But her assassination has shaken Pakistan's political landscape and caused the government to consider postponing the January elections.

Since graduating she has maintained ties with Harvard, visiting the University several times, delivering the 1989 Commencement address, and donating $100,000 in 1995 to the Center for Islamic Studies at Harvard Law School.

She fondly remembered her years as a Harvard undergraduate and their role in her political development, calling Harvard "the very basis of my belief in democracy," in a 1998 interview with The Crimson.

Material from the Associated Press was used in the reporting of this story.

Below is a 1998 Crimson story about Bhutto's time at Harvard, published as part of a special section commemorating the Class of 1973.

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