In the Wake of Bhutto’s Death, Pakistan’s Youth Struggle to Find Hope

In the Wake of Bhutto’s Death, Pakistan’s Youth Struggle to Find Hope

When asked by reporters about the threat to his own safety following the assassination of his mother and Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, 19-year-old Bilawal Bhutto Zardari cited a Pakistan People's Party (PPP) saying: "How many Bhuttos can you kill? From every house a Bhutto will come."

But despite such defiant rhetoric, videos of the Oxford student at the Dec. 30 London press conference during which he was thrust suddenly into the spotlight of the Bhutto legacy -- and into the shadow of the Bhutto curse -- reveal a nervous boy trying his best to muster the courage to fill the big shoes worn by his mother and grandfather as head of the PPP, the country's second largest political party.

Bilawal's nervousness in accepting the responsibility to lead the largest opposition party of a nation spiraling into lawlessness reflects the fear and uncertainty of a generation of Pakistani youth, who, in the wake of Bhutto's death, more than after any other recent crisis that they've had to endure -- the dismissal of the judiciary, the suspension of free media, the intensifying terrorism -- display a kind of hopelessness about their country's prospects.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.