Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (5 January 1928 – 4 April 1979) was the 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and the 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. He was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)— the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan— and served as its chairman until his execution in 1979 in what many observers note a politically motivated charges of murder. His eldest daughter, Benazir Bhutto, would also serve as Prime minister, while his son Murtaza Bhutto, served as member of Parliament of Pakistan.

Educated at the University of California, Berkeley in the United States and the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, Bhutto was noted for his progressive economic initiatives, industrialization, education, energy and foreign policy, and his intellectualism. In addition to national security issues, Bhutto promoted his policies on the nationalization, health care, and social reforms. Under his premiership, Pakistan’s Parliament gave approval and passed unanimously the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, a supreme law that provides a parliamentary system to Pakistan, strengthened the Sino-Pak and Saudi-Pak relations, recognition of East-Pakistan as Bangladesh, and hosted the second Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in 1974 where he delegated and invited leaders from the Muslim world to Lahore, Punjab Province of Pakistan. In July 1972, Bhutto successfully proceeded the Shimla treaty, signed with Indira Gandhi of India, brought 93,000 Prisoners of War back to Pakistan, and secured 5,000 sq mi (13,000 km2) held by India. In January 20 of 1972, weeks after the Indo-Pakistani 1971 winter war, Bhutto orchestrated, authorized, and administrated the scientific research on nuclear weapons; for this, he is colloquially known in the world as “Father of the Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent programme”.

A serious secessionist and rebellious conflict occurred in Balochistan province in 1973, calling for independence from Pakistan. In response, Bhutto ordered Pakistan Armed Forces an armed action, which was quelled by the Pakistan Armed Forces successfully in 1978. Bhutto and his party won the parliamentary elections held in 1977. However, in a successful coup d’état led by General Zia-ul-Haq under codename Operation Fair Play; Bhutto was removed from the office and was held in Central Jail Rawalpindi (CJR) as General Zia-ul-Haq proclaimed himself as Chief Martial Law Administrator of Pakistan. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed in 1979 after the Supreme Court of Pakistan controversially sentenced him to death for authorizing the murder of a political opponent, in a move that many believe was done under the directives of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.

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