Just 10 days after Benazir's death, as Pakistan prepares for a bitter election campaign, it may be the younger members of her shattered dynasty who heal the rifts.By Andrew Buncombe and Omar Waraich in Islamabad
The dust has not settled. The shock to what passes for Pakistan's body politic has by no means worn off. And yet, in the House of Bhutto, a dynasty is regrouping and showing why it has been a force here for more than four decades. There has even been talk of a "royal" wedding to reconcile the oft-divided family.
Ten days after Benazir Bhutto was assassinated as she left a campaign rally, Pakistan is readying itself for what could be an extraordinarily bitter and divisive election campaign. Tariq Fatemi, the country's former ambassador to both the US and the EU, said: "I have to say I see the coming weeks as a time of heightened tension and growing confrontation... There is a gulf between the people and the rulers... a dangerous divide."
That is nothing compared to the rifts that have sometimes been apparent in the rival branches of the Bhutto family, at odds since the fatal shooting in 1996 of Benazir's brother Murtaza in Karachi while she was Prime Minister. The main divisive figure in the family is Ms Bhutto's widowed husband, Asif Ali Zardari, nicknamed "Mr 10 Per Cent" for allegedly taking kickbacks as a government minister, and the target of accusations over Murtaza's death. Although Ms Bhutto's will named Mr Zardari her successor as chairman of the Pakistan People's Party, he deferred to their 19-year-old son, Bilawal, who has since taken the critical "Bhutto" as a middle name. Mr Zardari says he will run the party until his son finishes at Oxford University. His leadership could yet splinter the PPP.