LONDON, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The 19-year-old son of Benazir Bhutto said Tuesday in London he would assume his political role in Pakistan but only after completing his studies.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, an Oxford University undergraduate who has been made chairman of his mother's political party after her Dec. 27 assassination, said in his first news conference, "I was called on and I stepped up and I did what I had to do," CNN reported.
He will be chairman of the Pakistan People's Party, founded by his grandfather who was also prime minister like his mother. Bilawal will be assisted in that job by his father.
Calling his mother courageous, Zardari said her death has made him more resilient.
The CNN report said he acknowledged being nervous when urging the media to respect his privacy during his studies, which will take three more years to complete.
Zardari referred to extremism in Pakistan and said the best way to end it was to end the "dictatorship" rule of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, adding "dictatorship feeds extremism."
The Times of London quoted him as warning Pakistan would disintegrate if democracy isn't respected.
On taking over the party leadership, he said: "It wasn't handed on like some piece of
family furniture. They asked me to do it and I did," the Times report said.