Shahnawaz Bhutto (November 21, 1958 – July 18, 1985; Sindhi: شاھنواز ڀٽو) was the son of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the former President and Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1971 to 1977 and Begum Nusrat Bhutto, who was of Persian descent. Shahnawaz Bhutto was the youngest of Bhutto's four children, including the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto. Shahnawaz was schooled in Pakistan (at the Aitchison College in Lahore and Rawalpindi American School - renamed the International School of Islamabad (ISOI) in 1979, after the school was stormed during the uprising), where he graduated in 1976 and later travelled abroad to complete his higher education.

Shahnawaz Bhutto
Born(1958-11-21)November 21, 1958
Died(1985-07-18)July 18, 1985 (aged 26)
Resting placeBhutto Family Mausoleum, Larkana, Sindh
Known forPolitical Activism against the Military Regime of General Zia-Ul-Haq
Political party Pakistan Peoples Party
SpouseRehana Fasihuddin (m. 1980)
Parent(s)Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
Begum Nusrat Bhutto
RelativesBenazir Bhutto
Murtaza Bhutto
Sanam Bhutto

Shahnawaz was studying in Switzerland when Zia ul Haq's military regime executed his father in 1979. Prior to the execution, Shahnawaz and his elder brother Murtaza Bhutto had embarked on an international campaign to save their father's life, but it was to no avail. The two brothers continued to resist the military abrogation of the 1973 constitution in exile.

Shahnawaz and his brother Murtaza Bhutto, both married two Afghan sisters, Rehana and Fauzia. After the alleged involvement of Shahnawaz's wife Rehana in the murder of Shahnawaz, Murtaza Bhutto divorced his wife.

On July 18, 1985, the 26-year-old Shahnawaz was found dead in Nice, France. He died under mysterious circumstances, and the Bhutto family firmly believed he was poisoned. No one was brought to trial for murder, but Shahnawaz's wife Rehana was considered a suspect by the French authorities and remained in their custody for some time. She was found not guilty and later allowed to travel, and went to the United States. Pakistani media, which was under Zia's control, attributed death to drug and alcohol abuse.

Shahnawaz is believed to have helped organize a group dedicated to overthrowing the regime of President Mohammed Zia ul-Haq, through links to Al-Zulfiqar increasingly active in Pakistan at that time. The funeral of Shahnawaz turned into a defiant show of opposition to Zia's military rule. It was held in a Larkana sports stadium, attended by an estimated 25,000 people. He is buried at the Bhutto family mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Baksh in Sindh. Shahnawaz's daughter Sassi Bhutto lives with her mother in the United States.


  • Riaz, Bashir (18 July 2014). "Remembering Shahnawaz Bhutto". The International News. Pakistan.
  • Crossette, Barbara (25 September 1990). "Bhutto's Hunted Brother Is Hoping to Return". The New York Times.
  • Fathers, Michal (17 October 1993). "The Bhutto inheritance". The Independent. UK. Archived from the original on August 30, 2009.