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Bhutto’s Son, Husband Move to the Helm

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IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR Bilawal, Benazir, Asif Zardari (inset)(Photos: Getty Images)

With parliamentary elections looming, officials from slain Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto’s political party have chosen Bhutto’s teenage son and her massively corrupt husband to lead their perilous crusade for democracy in Pakistan. Son Bilawal is a “hot” college freshman who has spent little time in Pakistan and is unable to speak Urdu, the country’s national language. Husband Asif Zardari has spent 11 years in jail, may have been behind the assassination of Bhutto’s brother, and was once arrested for using a remote control bomb to shake down a Pakistani businessman.

Together, they will try to harness the wave of post-assassination sympathy for the Pakistan Peoples Party, should next week’s parliamentary elections occur as scheduled. Bhutto reportedly specified in a will that her husband should succeed her in the event of her assassination, but party leaders apparently thought it wise to place a youthful, non-corrupt veneer over Zardari’s ugly résumé and accepted Bilawal as Bhutto’s official successor. But the 19-year-old has already left Pakistan for school in England, leaving his father, who still faces money laundering charges in Switzerland, to run the chaotic show.

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