Murtaza Bhutto; Copyright ©www.bhutto.org 3
Like his elder sister, Benazir, Murtaza Bhutto was a novice to activepolitics until 1978 when his father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was sentenced todeath by the Lahore High Court. In the span of 15 years, however, Murtazahas managed to gain considerable notoriety for a brand of politics that hasmoved in diametrically opposing direction to Benazir's.Born in Karachi on September 18, 1954, Mir Murtaza received his earlyeducation at St. Mary's School, Rawalpindi. He later passed his ‘O’ levelsfrom the Karachi Grammar School in 1971.In 1972, Murtaza went off to Harvard University where he studiedGovernment, specialising in strategic studies. He graduated with honours in1976, and his thesis was entitled ``Modicum of Harmony'' which dealt withthe spread of nuclear weapons in general, and the implications of India'snuclear capability for Pakistan in particular.Murtaza went on to Christ Church College Oxford, his father's alma mater,for a three-year course to read for an M.Lit. degree. But the death penaltyawarded to his father in 1978 seriously disrupted his studies. Murtaza was onthe verge of rushing home when he received a message from his father askinghim to remain abroad where he could mobilise an international campaign forhis release.Murtaza had been present in Pakistan when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto'sgovernment was overthrown on July 5, 1977. Along with other familymembers, Murtaza had returned to Al-Murtaza, Larkana, and at the time wasbusy helping in the preparations for the elections schedule for October 1977.But on September 16, 1977 when Bhutto was arrested from Al-Murtaza, heordered his son to leave the country.After Bhutto was sentenced, Murtaza joined hands with his brother the lateShahnawaz Bhutto, to initiate a campaign to muster international support torevoke the death penalty looming over his father's head. Leaders from Syria,Libya, and the PLO were particularly supportive. Mercy appeals were sent byseveral heads of state to General Ziaul Haq which failed, however, to swayhis decision.