The Pakistan Peoples Party was founded in 1967 by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a charismatic yet controversial leader, who was deposed in a military coup and executed on charges of abetting murder. After he was imprisoned, his widow Nusrat Bhutto led the party, followed by his daughter Benazir, who chaired the party until her death. Though grandson Bilawal was elected to lead the Pakistan Peoples Party, his father Asif Ali Zardari was also elected co-chairperson before he became president of Pakistan in 2008, and has largely run party affairs.
The trend of family-dominated politics is prevalent across the subcontinent.
In India, members of the Gandhi/Nehru dynasty have led the Congress Party and the country as prime ministers for decades. Sheikh Hasina, the twice-elected prime minister of Bangladesh, is the daughter of the country’s founder, and her leading rival Khaleda Zia is the widow of a former president. The other leading political party in Pakistan, the Pakistan Muslim League, features a number of members of the Sharif family in prominent positions, and many major politicians in Pakistan have a similarly strong lineage.