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ACU Home > Major Events > News > 2002 News Archive > Benazir Bhutto

ACU to bring former Pakistani prime minister to speak

For immediate release
Oct. 10, 2002

Abilene Christian University's Center for Building Community has invited Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan, to speak to Abilene citizens at a luncheon Nov. 12 at the Abilene Civic Center at 11:45 a.m. as part of the Center for Building Community lecture series.

Tickets for the luncheon are available at $10 per ticket. They can be purchased or reserved by calling ACU's Center for Building Community at 674-2156 or writing to ACU Box 29136, Abilene, TX, 79699.

"We think she will be a perfect addition to our series of outstanding speakers," said Dr. Gary McCaleb, university vice president and director of the Center for Building Community. "We want to have perspectives not only from within the U.S. but about the situation throughout the world and how that impacts us. She will share with us the value of democracy as a form of government, something we've enjoyed for a long time here in this country. It's good to be reminded of how important that is."

Bhutto will speak about her experiences as prime minister of one of the most hostile political environments of our time. Bhutto espouses the need for democratic freedoms in Pakistan, such as freedom of the press, economic stability and gender equality.

Bhutto was born in Karachi in 1953. After completing her early education in Pakistan, she attended Radcliffe College and Oxford University. Along with obtaining a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, she also completed a course in International Law and Diplomacy at Oxford.

In 1988, at the age of 35, Bhutto was elected prime minister of Pakistan, becoming the youngest world leader and the first female prime minister in the Muslim world. After 20 months, her government was ousted by a rival political party; however, Bhutto was reelected in 1993. During her time in office, she emphasized the need to heal past wounds and to put an end to the divisions in Pakistani society - including reducing discrimination between men and women. She also launched a nationwide program of health and education reform.

Bhutto is the author of "Foreign Policy in Perspective" (1978) and her autobiography, "Daughter of Destiny" (1989). She received the Bruno Kreisky Award for Human Rights in 1988 and the Honorary Phi Beta Kappa Award from Radcliffe in 1989. Previous speakers in the Center for Building Community lecture series have included William Bennett, Byron Nelson, James Dobson and Margaret Thatcher.

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If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, university news coordinator.

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