Oxford friends recall Bhutto’s love of student life


London : Benazir Bhutto, who in 1976 became the first Asian woman to be elected president of the Oxford Union, the famous debating club attached to the leading British university, was Thursday remembered by friends for her political determination but also for the enjoyment she got out of student life.

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“She (Bhutto) wasn’t someone who was buried in a library,” her university friend Victoria Schofield told the online edition of London’s Independent newspaper.

“She used to go socialising; she had a lot of friends, and in later years it was those friendships she thought back to, because it was a very happy period for her,” Schofield was quoted as saying.

Bhutto was voted into the post as president of the famous debating society in December 1976, as she neared the end of her time studying at Oxford.

She studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Lady Margaret Hall, an Oxford College, between 1973 and 1977.

The current principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Frances Lannon, said Thursday that she was “appalled and upset” by the news of Bhutto’s assassination in Rawalpindi Thursday.

“We admired her bravery and her determination to play a positive role supporting democratic values in Pakistan. Our thoughts are with her husband, children and friends,” Lannon said.

“While most of the tutors who taught here when she studied here have retired now, I do know that she was highly regarded as an intelligent student who made many friends here,” she added.