Benazir's son Bilawal arrives in Dubai

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Dubai Jan 2: Bilawal Zardari, the son of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto arrived in Dubai from Pakistan after attending her funeral and being appointed symbolic head of her powerful political party.

Not many people know that the 19-year-old Oxford student who was elected leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and who could well be a future Pakistan prime minister did his schooling in Dubai. Bilawal was an excellent and 'conscientious student', according to the headmaster of Rashid School for Boys in Dubai.

Bilawal, who studied at the Rashid School for six years until he completed schooling in June this year, was, according to his tutors, an all-rounder and a good student.

''Bilawal was an excellent student and had a good relationship with other students and teachers. He was also the vice-president of the Students Council. He was a good all-rounder and took part in a range of activities,'' the headmaster of Rashid School for Boys, Glyn Kilsby, told Khaleej Times yesterday.

Bilawal, according to Kilsby, opted to complete his Grade XIII at the Rashid School, while most of his classmates had left for college after their Grade XII.

''Most students went to British universities do their A levels, and Bilawal did his A levels in History, Maths and English Literature,'' he said.

Bilawal was chosen the chairman of Pakistan's Peoples Party on Sunday, after the tragic assassination of his mother on Thursday.

And the party is likely to sweep the parliamentary elections, which may be delayed till February.

The eldest of Benazir's children, Bilawal is said to be a fitness freak and a sports enthusiast. He loves swimming, horse riding, squash and target shooting, besides cricket. He is also known to have fiercely doted on his mother.

Bilwal and his two sisters, who do not live in Pakistan and spend much of their time in Dubai, left the airport soon after arriving yesterday without making any comments, the Gulf News said. Bilawal Zardari was named head of Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party at a meeting on Sunday but said he would return to university and not play a role in the running of the party. The effective leadership was given to Bhutto's husband Asif Ali Zardari.

Bilawal Zardari briefly addressed the media on Sunday, saying he would continue the party's struggle for democracy.


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