Bhuttos Mourn; Son Eyed as Successor

19-year-old Bilawal could take up leadership of PPP
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2007 12:44 PM CST
Benazir Bhutto, center, former prime minister of Pakistan, comes out of Landhi jail with her son Bilawal Bhutto, left, and daughter Asifa Bhutto after meeting her husband Asif Zardari on Sept. 25, 1998,...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – Benazir Bhutto was the Pakistan People's Party's "chairperson for life," and her assassination leaves a vacuum in the leadership of the country's largest party. One possible successor, reports the Globe and Mail, is her 19-year-old son Bilawal, who, with his family, attended his mother's burial today. Bhutto's widower, Asif Ali Zardari, refused to speculate on the leadership, saying, "All I can say is we're devastated."

Bilawal Bhutto is a student at Oxford, his mother's alma mater, and the eldest of her three children; she was said to have been grooming him  to carry on the family's legacy. More immediately, reports the Hindu, Zardari could become provisional leader, as could two other prominent politicians: Makhdoom Amin Fahim, a loyal Bhutto aide, and Aitzaz Ahsan, a top lawyer detained for protests during the state of emergency. (Read more Benazir Bhutto stories.)