BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 30 December 2007, 16:07 GMT
Profile: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari
Bilawal Bhutto
Bilawal has grown up outside Pakistan
As Bilawal Bhutto Zardari made his first public appearance before the world, his father announced the boy would from now on be known by his mother's name - Bhutto.

Three days after Benazir Bhutto's assassination, Bilawal Bhutto finds himself inheriting not just one of the most celebrated names in politics, but a history steeped in power and bloodshed.

He has been chosen as the chairman of the Pakistan People's Party. It is a party founded and always led by a Bhutto.

While friends of Benazir say she always envisaged Bilawal becoming her political heir, they agree that she would not have wanted him to have to bear that burden so young.

Only 19 years of age, Bilawal is still some way from completing his education.

He has followed his mother to Oxford University, where he studies history, and he says he will complete his studies before entering the maelstrom of Pakistani politics.

My mother always said democracy is the best revenge
Bilawal Bhutto

He is described as a keen sportsman, enjoying cricket, shooting, horse-riding and Taekwondo.

In joining Oxford's Christ Church college, he also followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan's first elected prime minister and founder of the PPP, who was executed under martial law in 1979.

Bilawal also echoed his mother's own experience of tragedy when he quoted her at his first press conference.

"My mother always said democracy is the best revenge," he declared, raising his voice.

But he looked not entirely at ease as party supporters broke into chants of: "Bilawal, step forward! We are with you!"

'Want to help

Born in September 1988, a month before his mother was elected prime minister, Bilawal was given a name meaning "one without equal".

Since then he has spent most of his life outside Pakistan, travelling with his mother, who went into self-imposed exile in 1999, moving between London and Dubai.

In an interview in 2004 he was asked if he wanted to enter Pakistani politics.

"We will see, I don't know. I would like to help the people of Pakistan, so I will decide when I finish my studies," he said.

He has been forced into a decision even earlier.

Profile of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific