Home Latest News PPP Declares Aseefa Bhutto as ‘First Lady of Pakistan’

PPP Declares Aseefa Bhutto as ‘First Lady of Pakistan’

Traditionally held by the spouse of the head of state, president has authority to designate any suitable person for the role

by Staff Report

Aseefa Bhutto at the oath-taking of President Asif Ali Zardari, Photo courtesy PID

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Monday announced that Aseefa Bhutto, the daughter of newly elected President Asif Ali Zardari, will become the country’s First Lady, as Zardari is a widower and has no spouse.

Traditionally, the first lady is the president’s wife. However, Zardari’s wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was martyred in 2007, and he has remained a widower. In his previous tenure as president from 2008 to 2013, there was no first lady, as he did not designate anyone for the role.

“Aseefa Bhutto will be declared as the First Lady and an official announcement will be made in this regard,” PPP spokesperson Faisal Karim Kundi told Geo News on Monday. He said the president had already consulted with party leaders on recognizing Aseefa as the first lady.

Earlier, Zardari’s eldest daughter Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari tagged her sister in a post on X that shared a photo of the new president and Aseefa at the presidential oath-taking ceremony. “From accompanying President Asif Zardari to all his court hearings to fighting for his release from jail—now by his side as First Lady of Pakistan,” it said.

Aseefa has slowly been gaining prominence within the PPP. She was an active campaigner during the recent elections, leading several rallies and accompanying her brother, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, to various events. She is also considered very close to her father.

This would not be the first time in Pakistan’s history that a president declares someone other than their wife as the first lady. Former military ruler Field Marshal Ayub Khan had declared his daughter, Naseem Aurangzeb, as the first lady after becoming the president in 1958.

Similarly, Fatima Jinnah had accompanied her brother, then-widower Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, at various state functions.

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