Who was the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim majority nation?
Benazir Bhutto (21 June 1953 – 27 December 2007) was a Pakistani politician who served as Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996. She was the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim majority nation. Ideologically a liberal and a secularist, she chaired or co-chaired the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) from the early 1980s until her assassination in 2007.
Bhutto's first cabinet in 1988 was the largest in Pakistan's history. She appointed herself as the new treasury minister, with her mother as a senior minister without portfolio, and her father-in-law as chairman of the parliamentary public accounts committee, quashing hopes that her administration would depart from the entrenched systems of cronyism in the country.
In the October 1993 general election, the PPP won the most seats, although it fell short of an outright majority, with 86 seats. Sharif's new party, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), came second with 73 seats.
In the afternoon of 27 December 200, Bhutto gave a speech at a PPP rally held in Rawalpindi's Liaquat National Bagh. On leaving in a bulletproof vehicle, she opened the car's escape hatch and stood up to wave to the surrounding crowds. A man stood within two to three metres of the car, fired three gunshots at her, and detonated a suicide vest packed with ball bearings. Bhutto was rushed to Rawalpindi General Hospital but was clinically dead on arrival and attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful.