Benazir Bhutto, the daughter of Pakistan's last freely elected leader, was named prime minister Thursday and became the first woman to lead a Moslem nation in modern times.
The appointment, combined with Wednesday's seating of an elected National Assembly and four provincial assemblies, returned Pakistan to democracy after the 11-year rule of Gen. Mohammed Zia and a caretaker government.President Ghulam Ishaq Khan said in a televised address that Bhutto, 35, had "the best qualities of leadership and foresight as a statesman."
He said he was convinced her Pakistan People's Party could command a majority in the National Assembly following the country's first free elections in more than a decade.
Ishaq Khan also announced the end of a state of emergency declared in August after Zia's death in a plane crash. He did that, he said, "so the new prime minister can take up her responsibility in an environment of complete democracy."
He also said he had received the resignations of the post-Zia caretaker government, effective on Friday when Ms. Bhutto will take the oath of office.
"Ms. Benazir Bhutto is a sound, educated, civilized, cultured and talented woman," said the president, speaking in Pakistan's official Urdu language.
"She has the best qualities of leadership and foresight of a statesman. She has the country's love in her heart."
Ishaq Khan, 73, congratulated her as "the choice of the people."
Bhutto will lead a nation dominated by the laws of Islam, which do not allowed women to appear in public without a veil covering their faces.
Islamic scholars disagree on whether the Moslem holy book, the Koran, prohibits women from engaging in public life. But Ishaq Khan has said Pakistan's Constitution says a woman can become head of state.
Bhutto's party Thursday picked up 12 more seats in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament. It meant her Pakistan People's Party commanded 105 votes in the 237-seat legislature. She said she had enough support from independents and minor parties to command a majority over the conservative eight-party Islamic Democratic Alliance, which rallied Zia loyalists.