Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (Picture: His Facebook page)
It makes perfect sense for Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to keep the two most recognizable last names in Pakistan in his own name. In case, one does not ring the bell, the other would. The two together would not stop the bells from ringing in one’s ears.
It is somewhat akin to a gold-platinum alloy in Pakistan’s world of politics. I overstate, of course, but all in the interest of making a point. The 23-year-old heir apparent to the Bhutto-Zardari dynasty was apparently quite thrilled to be in India yesterday. His tweets say so as much.
“Would much rather invest in education so we can teach each other”
Would much rather invest in healthcare so we can heal each weather (Typo: He meant other and not weather)
Would much rather invest in business so we can trade with each other
not on weapons 4 us to fight each other”
These are all laudable sentiments of a young, fresh mind who will have to fight hard not to be co-opted into the cesspool of cynicism and vicious statecraft of the kind his maternal grandfather, one Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, mother Benazir and father Asif Ali, have had to at many points in their careers.
I sincerely wish that Bilawal does indeed manage to leverage his famous last names to realize the four wishes he has tweeted about once he rises to a position of power. Those are massive wishes and achieving any one of them would be remarkable, especially investing in education that Pakistan so desperately needs.
Having been born to the family to which he was, Bilawal already comes embedded with certain privileges such as visibility at the highest level of Pakistani society and perceived credibility simply because of who he is. It would take other politicians decades to reach the stage where Bilawal was born. One cannot hold it against him but one can at least expect that he makes the best out of what nature’s random selection handed him at birth.
In fact, Bilawal has the opportunity to redeem a lot of the lost reputation for his family by single-mindedly following his own ideas once he, and if he, becomes Pakistan’s prime minister five, ten, twenty years from now. In the interregnum he can galvanize his country’s youth into making a seminal mind shift.
I began this post somewhat mocking him but ended on a positive note.