Saturday, October 17, 2009


Being the voice for change is a common cliché in the post-Obama world of politics. But ironically for FATIMA BHUTTO, a niece of the assassinated former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, change is exactly why she stays out of politics. SHANNON TEOH finds her readier to document rather than represent

WHAT’S IN A NAME? In Pakistan, damn near everything.

If you thought having Bush, Sr. and Jr. as presidents was something, the unauthoritative but extremely useful Wikipedia actually has a page dedicated to “Political families of Pakistan.” There are 14 of them, and under Bhutto, we find 21 names said to be “in politics.”

One of them is Fatima Bhutto, who, once she finds out about this, will probably protest her inclusion.

The Bhutto name needs no introduction to an international audience, let alone to 180 million Pakistanis brought up in a democracy which makes no apologies for its dynastic inclinations. Such is the grip of this mindset that on various internet forums discussing interviews where Fatima rejects suggestions that she gets contest in elections, Pakistanis are extolling her virtues and stating openly that they would support her wholeheartedly.

Pointedly, some will even go so far as to say that it is Fatima’s destiny, and not that of her 20-year-old cousin Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of the assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, to inherit the family’s political leadership. One rationale is particularly illuminating—Bilawal is not a real Bhutto but a Zardari.

So the apologies are left instead to the 27-year-old poet and journalist.

“My decision not to take part in parliamentary politics is absolute,” she said in a telephone-interview from her home in Karachi.

“You can quote me on that, Shannon,” she added for emphasis, clearly frustrated at constant speculation that she will eventually make a tilt for a top role in government and in at least once case, she claims of rather mischievous reporting.

I was referring to a news report where Fatima had appeared to leave the door open should birthright politics be dismantled and an open field established, but Fatima claimed it was a case of “two separate things being pieced together.”

“It was a separate question asking if I lived in a country without a feudal background and I didn’t come from a dynasty. So I said that if that was the case, in an ideal situation, then of course, it’s an entirely different proposition,” she explained.

Fatima has been critical of birthright politics for as long as she had a platform to do so and today does so in Pakstasni media as well as columns in The Daily Beast and New Statesman, and commentaries in The Guardian. In our interview, she decried as “farcical” that Pakistan has been “devastated” by the idea that “all you need that qualifies you to rule is a name.”

“It can even be an add-on name, somewhere in the equation and you are suitable,” she scoffed.

Instead, she has been pushing for, mainly through her writing, the voiceless to be empowered and have Pakistanis being represented by members of their own constituencies and communities.

“I am happy to play a role from the sidelines, to write and support causes I believe in and speak out against those I feel are dangerous and leave the actual politicking to someone else,” she said.

But the irony in her quest for a change to a democracy based on merit is nearly tragic in its immensity. She even sounded like she was tasting it as she said “it behooves me—(she pauses for an exasperated chuckle)—to say, I will not participate.”

Because the fact is that she does come from a dynasty and the Bhutto name is an inescapable soapbox for her. Fatima also helps her stepmother, Ghinwa Bhutto, to campaign during elections—although it would be unfair to say that Ghinwa rides on the Bhutto name given that she heads a dissenting breakaway party from the Pakistan People’s Party, which is practically a Bhutto heirloom. Fatima’s highly recognisable profile, is as much due to her surname as it is her columns in various newspapers, multiple appearances on television, two books and, well, the loud whispering in the gossip rags featuring one George Clooney.

This is not to say her work has no validity once you cut the cords of family, but it is undeniable that it is a key selling point and gives Fatima greater relevance. She must know this, of course. Next year, her third book will be published and it is about “the violence that connects Pakistan and my family.”

“It weaves itself between this country and this family, making it part historical, part journalistic and also part personal. It’s my way of trying to understand the violence that I‘ve lived with personally and as a Pakistani,” she said and at the time of the interview, she was still being kept up most nights by the lack of a title.

It becomes obvious that any naivety in her cause or work so far is only due to the very nature of her social and political activism. Hope—usually against all hope—is what keeps the underdogs going, after all.

But again, it is cruel irony that hope is probably why Pakistanis want to see her in government. Fatima agrees that it is difficult to blame Pakistanis for what is essentially “hope and expectations” derived from “a relationship with the family.”

“You can’t eliminate hope, as Barack Obama would say, there is nothing false about hope,” she said, quoting the US president.

The problem with hope in Pakistan, she believes, is that it creates a situation where “they just decide, we don’t like Musharraf (the self-appointed former president who led a military coup d’etat), we want someone else and we’ll take just about anybody at this point.”

Her hope is that all this can change and is reflected in her pursuance of what she calls “the hidden transcript.” She related her first visit to Malaysia a year ago, saying she found the people “very warm and open, eager to share, talk and discuss.”

“The same is true in Pakistan, but when you open the newspapers, none of that is reflected in them. It is as if the people in power are on one side, and the people you meet everyday are on the other. You feel there is a disconnection,” she mused.

“I think of what I do as citizen journalism. I’ve never liked the idea of being a columnist or commentator. Instead, I wrote about things I was living in and witnessing but not seeing on television or reading in newspapers.

“I liked the idea of coming from inside a society, of it being rogue in some kind of way—what I was doing was to archive and catalogue. So there are two transcripts out there of what is recorded. The established transcript in state newspapers and TV, and then the hidden transcript of how people live and what life is like and their struggles,” she explained.

This was the motivation behind 8:50am 8 October 2005, published three years ago about the earthquake in Pakistan’s north that killed some 80,000 people. The fact is documented well enough, but Fatima found that the stories that needed to be told were those of the survivors.

“When I went to the earthquake area on personal trips to distribute aid to women and children, I was shocked that the things people told me were news I hadn’t heard on the TV or newspapers. There was a lot of attention but it was always politicians or newscasters speaking for people portrayed as silent victims.

“But the people I met were not victims at all. They were survivors and they were resilient, very gutsy and impassioned about what happened and what needed to be done. I wasn’t seeing that anywhere else,” she recalled.

It would be easy to psychoanalyse Fatima and say that this is simply a typical condescending upper-class reaction to her privileged upbringing where her first book was a collection of poetry written in her pubescent years. That may not be a completely invalid point, as Fatima herself admitted, but it would be one that is completely unsympathetic to the (c)rude interruption of those pubescent years by the death of her father.

It was half a life and while she still writes poems—a full collection remains unpublished—she has found a modus operandi and a purpose that she has utter belief in.

In hindsight, Fatima believes that her citizen journalism is when she really found her voice as a writer and “started to write as an adult; the poetry was from when I was a child, really.

“Nobody was talking about what it was like on a daily basis, living through something. For me, as an adult, by the time I started to work on the earthquake book, I knew that was what I wanted to do. If there was a way to uncover the hidden transcripts, then I wanted to be involved in doing that.

“I didn’t want to put myself necessarily in the front—I wanted to share my experiences and what I thought about things, but I didn’t need them to be about me. Coming from a political family and that kind of background, it was an important realisation for me to make and that was really when it became clear to me that I wasn’t going into politics, that I had more of a role to play through writing and activism,” she said.

Time will tell if her efforts will prove to be wanting or even in vain in the context of Pakistani politics. But insisting that journalists and writers, not politicians, were her heroes while growing up, her presence at the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2009 is a testament to a larger truth, that even if journalism or literature may not always change the destiny of the world, it can change the destiny of lives.

Even if it’s only the life of the writer.

SHANNON TEOH, when not pretending to know everything, busies himself trying to have a laugh. Some might argue they’re both the same thing. However, this winner of several Boy Scout badges would argue that the first provides him with a salary at The Malaysian Insider and the latter ensures he never gets a second date. Or was it the other way round?

Reproduced from the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2009 issue of Quill magazine


Blogger Karishma said...

Thank you, it was a lovely piece.
Have posted it on the blog
giving you due credit

Appreciate the post:)

Friday, October 16, 2009 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Eric Forbes said...

Thanks. Glad to know you enjoyed reading the piece by Shannon Teoh.

Friday, October 16, 2009 5:48:00 PM  
Blogger Roshmi Sinha said...

Hi! My first time here.

I read a few of your posts... and I would like to point out a few things which have somehow been overlooked.

A lot has and is still being written on this subject... vis-a-vis dynasty, handing down the ‘family business’ like a piece of furniture, no democracy within the party, House of Bhuttos, etc...

A lot has generally been overlooked by most journalists and writers... and I’m not sure why though... my guess would be plain and simple ignorance (‘Ignorance is bliss’… isn’t it… ???) or more likely, fear. Or... you decide.

Thursday, December 24, 2009 3:22:00 AM  
Blogger Roshmi Sinha said...

If you study Islamic customs and culture… the way it has been in the last several decades, perhaps even centuries… you’ll be able to guage the magnitude of the contribution of Benazir vis-a-vis Islam as well as Pakistan and other Islamic nations.

There has been no dynasty, no ‘House of Bhutto’. This name has been with many people… lots of males… and none have been successful, politically. Even the original party symbol (the sword) was taken away and given to a break away faction (headed by one of her brothers’ family - the one which Fatima's stepmother heads). The day her father was overthrown… his PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party) started to fragment and collapsed after he was hanged. Most of the senior and mid level leaders left the party, via coersion, incentives, etc. Primarily ‘coz they did not want to accept the leadership of a girl/woman… since it hurt their ego as well as culture and religious sentiments. Others went underground, went abroad, or were jailed, some even killed… tortured, etc. Some backstabbed.

Benazir was barely 24… just out of college… and had returned to the country (a little over a week before the coup) to join the diplomatic service after 8 years of studies at Harvard and Oxford respectively. Instead barely 3 days before the coup (1977) she was inducted as an advisor to the PM (Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto – her father) on sports and youth affairs. She had been involved and been active in the students unions while at college. She did not have any formal training for a political role… and certainly did not learn politics from her father. Her role models were Joan of Arc and Margaret Thatcher (the ex-premier of UK). The later was also her mentor… kind of. She learnt politics and the the art of survival in the snake pit of Pak politics entirely on her own… through trail and error… under the full glare of the media. Even most of her extended family had abandoned them (here 'them' is Benazir and her mother)… and actually joined in the persecution (of them) let loose by the regime. Her 2 brothers escaped abroad… remained in exile… started an organisation called the Al-Zulfiqar Organisation (AZO)… an armed outfit to fight against Zia (the dictator who staged the coup). They had no success… infact her brothers had no training as such in these matters and had gathered all they knew by casually flipping through books. Very soon AZO was known as a terrorist orgn., and was banned/blacklisted in many countries. There were severe internal conflicts in the group as well.

Thursday, December 24, 2009 3:27:00 AM  
Blogger Roshmi Sinha said...

They were said to have hijacked a plane, killed a passenger (who had served under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto) and some other political figure too. That was all the ’success’ this group gathered. Meanwhile, Benazir remained in Pak and worked to rebuild the PPP. She even did away with a few of her father’s policies. This PPP did not support wholesale nationalisation for example. She was jailed, in solitary confinement and under very difficult circumstances. Rats were let loose in her cell, the toilet was blocked, no food, medicines, no visitors, plus horrible stories were floated about her… in the media, and a whispering campaign undertaken for the sole aim of character assassination. Stories like she was having affairs in jail and had undergone several abortions, etc. Plus name calling: prostitute, whore… and what not. Her health suffered… she was nearly deaf in one ear, suffered a kind of paralysis of the facial muscles, migraine, sinus, etc. Several cases were registered against her. She was labelled a 'security risk' and dubbed as an Indian agent, and a part of the zionist lobby. Doctored photographs were distributed along with other objectionable and censored materials. Infact these were air dropped again by her opponents and the intelligence agencies during the earlier elections too.

If her rise and success is solely attributed to her father’s name… then why did Fatima Jinnah not succeed… ??? Afterall, her brother (Mohammed Ali Jinnah) was their ‘Father of the Nation’. She did not succeed politically nor could she win the elections… where Ayub Khan defeated her. It was a rigged election and everyone was aware of it. Benazir too faced rigged elections… and a far tougher time both politically as well as personally than her father had ever had to face.

Zia’s nearly 12 year rule was the most despotic and the darkest ever chapter in that country… and there has been ripple effects elsewhere in the region and beyond.

Fatima Jinnah had a far easier time, since pakistan was a very different country both politically and economically, socially, even vis-a-vis religion... during her time. Why did she not succeed then... ???

'Legacy' is not a shirt or sweater or coat or shalwar or a raincoat. That whoever wears it will 'inherit the legacy'.

Thursday, December 24, 2009 3:35:00 AM  
Blogger Roshmi Sinha said...

Benazir did have a choice… she could have left the country and got into writing articles and books, become a professor/academic or joined one of the many thinktanks or just enjoyed her life. She chose to do neither. So, after the activities of AZO… she, her party members and supporters were subjected to large scale torture by the state. Thousands perished and disappeared. There were concerted attempts to link her to the AZO activities… whereby she could be executed. They all failed. So, while the PPP and its students union activists heard stories of the high life led by her brothers, their marriages, birth of their children, etc… she was there with them and suffered along with them. This is how the bond grew and their acceptance of Benazir as their leader was complete. This has been one of the main reasons that inspite of several attempts by the regime and hidden hands to divide the PPP – Pak’s only national party – they mostly failed in the close to 3 decades she was at the helm. It also explains why her brother failed to make any dent in her popularity… despite claiming that he was the rightful heir… as the male. Her youngest brother had died in ‘85 due to poisoning… in France.

Now... the one's who were accusing her of perpetuating 'dynastic rule' through herself and her son... are pitching for her niece. Amazing, isn't it... ???

Thursday, December 24, 2009 3:38:00 AM  
Blogger Roshmi Sinha said...

You may have heard of Nawaz Sharif and Altaf Hussain (he leads an ethnic party in her home province of Sind). Nawaz was built up by the intelligence and the army to counter her in Punjab… while Altaf who was a taxi driver in Canada… was called back… given unlimited money and arms to counter her in Sind, especially in Karachi – the business nerve centre of Pak. Similarly, other parties like the Islamic parties were built up to negate her elsewhere.

Benazir had several fatwas to her name. Acquired due to her initiation of programmes like the ‘Polio Eradication Drive’ and ‘putting iodine to salt’ among others. The Islamic parties campaigned that this was a ‘facade’ by the Indian-US-Israel troika to make muslims impotent. But she went ahead against all odds and these programmes were hugely successful. Infact, she publicly came out and fed the very first drop of the polio vaccine to her own daughter – her youngest child who was about a year old then. This encouraged others to follow suit. Are you aware that her gender was held responsible for the Pak cricket team’s inability to defend the 1996 Cricket World Cup… ??? There was a huge campaign lead by the Islamic parties and other opponents (Nawaz Sharif included)… spearheaded by Imran Khan. Nawaz also arranged huge public demonstrations against her jewish friends… getting his party supporters to carry placards with slogans like “Death to…”

He and the other islamic parties also demanded that she be jailed and hanged since she gave birth while in office and that it was against the constitution to take maternity leave. Benazir later incorporated the clause. It will certainly make things easier for others who may or can follow in her footsteps. The Islamic parties also issued fatwas against anybody voting for her… during elections. Since according to their version of Islam… a woman cannot rule over a man… since a man is twice that of a woman. They decreed that anyone violating this fatwa will be dealth severely… and his marriage will stand null and void immediately.

Razia Sultana was the first Islamic woman to sit on the throne of Delhi. However, that was a Sultanate and another era. Razia was not an elected head too. Benazir was. The statement “she was the first woman to head an Islamic state”… glosses over many other aspects of this achievement. Her election… did not happen smoothly. There was a huge debate… and an unprecedented one at that… about the role of women in Islam. Religious leaders, intellectuals, writers, scholars, et al… vigorously deliberated and debated on this. Finally, it came through that there was no restriction on women in Islam… to take on a leadership role like that of a PM. This opened the gates for others… including the ones in Turkey, Bangladesh and Iran. This event set the ball rolling for other events too. Even Saudi Arabia and the other middle east countries had to give more concessions to women, like voting rights, passport, driving license, ministership, etc. I do not think that all these other women combined… would have been able to achieve this feat… without Benazir… so soon. It would have taken several generations more. It is also well known that the Saudi Royal family was not fond of her at all.

Thursday, December 24, 2009 3:40:00 AM  
Blogger Roshmi Sinha said...

The PPP which is headed by Bilawal/Asif Zardari is essentially a matrilineal line. The significance of her children taking on her name and her widower stating that he too wishes to be buried beside her are immense too… in the Islamic context and not just vis-a-vis Pak and/or south asia. She is a Rajput muslim woman (and a descendent of Salahuddin Ayyubi… from her mother’s side) who in a deeply tribal, feudal, class and caste conscious Islamic society married a man outside her caste. Who belongs to a ‘lesser tribe’ and is her social inferior. ‘Zardari’ means ‘people with money’ but they were originally camel herders. She retained her own name (father’s name) post marriage… and chose to be buried in her own family graveyard (that of her parents and forefathers) and not that of her husband’s. All these actions have far more significance… from the Islamic context… but is usually glossed over.

Now, PPP is the only national part with roots in all the provinces of Pak. With a disciplined cadre base. Her father formed his PPP in 1967… she rebuilt the party after 1979. Throughout its existence, the army and the intelligence agencies there… along with the ‘establishment forces’ have been tradionally opposed to this party. ‘coz of their liberal agenda, it is a left of centre party, all segments of society including minorities are well represented in this party. Now, there have been numerous attempts to break the party… by these hidden forces. In India, none of our political parties face such a scenario or situation.

What happens if the head is cut off from the body… ??? The importance of the PPP is akin to this… when it comes to Pak. I would say that her ‘will’ was a masterstroke’… for which the ‘dark forces’ were not prepared. Hence the numerous attempts to link dynasty, handing it down like a furniture, family business and much else made the rounds in the media… both at home and abroad. Plus doctored pics/videos of the new Chairman. Even, attempts to hold up her brother’s family as the rightful heir… since it was the male lineage. Also, the significance of her nominating her widower to lead the party… is also immense… in the Islamic context. She did not nominate her son… btw. The establishment had always asked the PPP to operate… minus her. Why was that… ??? She was not allowed to contest the 2002 elections… the reason given out was… she was not a graduate. This… inspite of both Harvard and Oxford attesting her claims to the contrary. She was a very distinguished student at both these universities. The courts in Pak and the election commission in Pak refused to accept those claims. Even a huge section of the foreign media dubbed her as a ‘non-graduate’… ??? The domestic media followed suit... almost wholesale. Despite the fact that they never tire of asking while rolling their collective eyes: 'How can she, a graduate of Harvard and Oxford settle for an arranged marriage?'

While Imran Khan who has a third class degree from Oxford, in the same stream… he was her comtemporary there… was allowed to contest. Benazir was a first class (honors) grad.

'Tarang Tarang' (that is the suspense music... playing in the background)

Thursday, December 24, 2009 3:44:00 AM  
Blogger Roshmi Sinha said...

Then ‘coz the leader/chairperson of this party was a ‘non-graduate’… her party was disqualified. She being an adept player of the game of chess on the political chess board… responded a day before the disqualification… with a subsidiary party named as the PPP (Parliamentarians) and registering it.

The 'General - who watched over the elections' and the 'other forces' (some across the seven seas) did not succeed in their plans then. The 4P has received pretty much the same number of seats in 2008… as they did in 2002. This time too… the Americans were extremely prompt in certifying them as the ‘most free and fair elections’ in Pak and paid tributes to the supermodel of the 'Bushshirt'. They were the ones to link the 4P’s win to the ’sympathy wave’.

Now.. the question is… if this is the ’sympathy wave’ where are the votes. And if these are the ‘votes’, then where is the ’sympathy wave’… ???

The question is borrowed from a famous Nasreddin Hodja story.

Nasreddin, one day, brought home one kilo of lamb meat. Asked his wife to prepare it for the evening and set off to the teahouse to spend the rest of the day. Unable to wait (terliur sangat) his wife cooked the meat and shared it with her friends. Returning home, Nasreddin was told that the cat had eaten the meat. Puzzled, Nasreddin grabbed the family’s mangy cat and put it on the weighing scales. To his surprise, it weighed exactly one kilo. He barked at his wife, “If this is the meat, then where is the cat?”

Thursday, December 24, 2009 3:48:00 AM  
Blogger Roshmi Sinha said...

It is said that she did not do away with the ‘Hudood ordinance’ promulgated by Zia… which is a set of extremely discriminatory laws against women. Now, this law/ordiance was promulgated to stop her and her mother to carry on their political activities in Pak. To prevent them from leading the party, to prevent them from testifying, etc. The saudis had helped Zia frame these laws. Agreed, she could not do away with this law… since she lacked the majority required to do so. But, didn’t her ascension to the position/office of the PM negate these laws.. ??? Isn’t examples more powerful than mere laws… ??? How many laws are implimented… whether in letter and spirit or not… in that country… ??? It is also said that ’she did not do anything for women’. Really… ??? Inspite of not being a card caring feminist… she has done what noone had been able to do for almost 2 millenniums.

Her life has been unique and so has been her contributions and achievements. She was a woman who truely lived up to her name. An extraordinary and fascinating woman… the like of whom the world will never see. Not for a very, very long time indeed.

Apparently, when her husband was jailed (mind you 11.5 years in jail with no charges proven… even though both her govts were dismissed on charges of ‘massive corruption’ and the powers-that-be apparently had several ‘proofs’ of her wrong doing) he was asked on several occasions… to divorce her and all his woes will disappear… and he will find happiness. It seems the intelligence agencies thought that if they succeeded… it will ‘embarrass’ her.

And Oh! The ‘Hudood Ordinance’ also states that women are forbidden by the will of ‘Allah’ to pursue a career, or even step out of their house. The place of a woman was within the realms of her own home… the ‘Chaddar and char deewari’.

That ‘immoral’ women will be severely punished… hanged, stoned to death or lashed publicly. This should explain the innumerable attempts to ‘prove’ that she was a ‘loose woman’… through all the sustained character assassination campaigns.

Thursday, December 24, 2009 3:49:00 AM  
Blogger Roshmi Sinha said...

Regarding her brother’s family. I remember when they named her and accused her for being part of the conspiracy to murder her own brother. Nay for being his murderer. And went on and on about… how she tried to cut up the carpets and take away half of them. I also saw how this brother’s widow said ‘No, I did not accuse her directly. I only held her morally responsible’… after her death. Mind you, it was Benazir who was chucked out of her father’s (ancestral) home… the full control of which was given to this brother’s family… by the powers that be. Now, this part of the family is crying hoarse and trying desperately to establish their claim of being the ‘true heirs of her legacy’. I ask you! Benazir had never responded to these name calling and allegations by this part of the family (which also includes an uncle and others) and even under extreme provocation had not paid back in the same coin. The same goes for Nawaz Sharif… he of all people today… is publicly claiming that ‘he is the true inheritor of her legacy’. That too after all that he has said and done to her.

Thursday, December 24, 2009 3:52:00 AM  
Blogger Roshmi Sinha said...

Her brothers were accused of getting Ch. Shujjat’s father killed… in an act of revenge… through the AZO (their armed outfit: The Al Zulfiqar Organisation). Since Shujjat’s father had requested for and then received the ’sacred pen’ which was used by General Zia to sign the death warrant of their father (Zulfiqar). This man heads the PML (Q)… the party that propped up Musharraf. Shujjat had been the prime minister of Pak for some 45 days and his cousin Pervaiz Elahi had been the Chief Minister of Punjab - the most populous and powerful province for 5 years.

Benazir was accused in this killing and this was the major reason why her government was dismissed in 1996. That should speak for itself. I cannot believe that a person as shrewd as Benazir… is going to not just hit her own foot with an axe… but hit the axe with her own foot. Who called this brother back to the country after nearly 17 years… ??? Why and how… ??? This brother never had any stature of his own. Let me give you an example of his wisdom. His solution to a military coup in Pak was to give every man in each family an AK 47 and a box of grenades.

It also kinda achieves ‘two birds with one stone’. Also, Benazir named Shujjat’s cousin Pervaiz Elahi as one of the persons who may want to eliminate her. And everyone knows what kind of ‘powers’ a PM enjoys in Pak… and who are the ‘real powers’. Her killing has all the marks of the intelligence agencies or CIA… of a target killing via a sniper. Who destroyed all the evidence and washed clean the place of murder within minutes of the event… ??? And why… ??? Why did the British and Americans corroborate Musharraf’s theory… of her hitting the sun roof and dieing due to its impact. Surely the human mind is not made of egg shells. That inspite of Toyota (the makers of the vehicle she was travelling in) publicly stating that this was impossible and ludicrous. Why are the British and the Americans plus the Saudis shielding Musharraf and his team… and giving them all possible security and much else… ??? When the Americans told her that the US Senate and Congress does not ask for security for someone who is not a designated leader. So, Benazir was not a designated leader… ??? While Musharraf is… ??? Also why in 2003 the US tried to link the AZO with Al-Qaeda and the Big O… ???? That it was originally her brother’s plan to hit the twin towers with planes… to avenge their father’s killing. The same brother who was murdered during her time in office. To put pressure on her… ???

Thursday, December 24, 2009 3:57:00 AM  
Blogger Roshmi Sinha said...

I also noticed that her niece… who writes a lot of things about her and has written for many years… was in tears and looked completely broken at her funeral. She was the only one who appeared thus in that part of the family. Not her step-mother or her step-brother. If I were to accuse someone of all the wrong doings and crime that she has accused her aunt of… and if all that were to be true... and if that person were to die, I would not cry like that. For sure!

I wonder what great game is being played in the political and international chess board.

And Oh! Did you notice that Aung Sang Suu Kyi has also started negotiating with the military regime after 1.5 – 2 decades… ??? All this time she was locked up… under house arrest and there was no dearth of lip service paid to ‘her indomitable spirit and courage and unwavering resolve in her fight for democracy’. By the US and the British among others of course. And Oh! She was also given the Nobel peace prize for her ‘efforts’. She can hope to now get some space (very limited though) for her activities, for her party and for herself… by negotiating and playing ball with the regime there… apart from the other powers that be.

‘Politics’… thy name is ‘fill in the blanks’

Thursday, December 24, 2009 3:58:00 AM  
Blogger Roshmi Sinha said...

Fatima Bhutto derives her entire identity from her aunt. Infact, she is known as her aunt's niece and not her father's daughter or by her grandfather's name.

She has come to India many times.... and that is what she is known as - Benazir's niece. People flock to see or speak with her... 'coz of her aunt's name.

Her 2 books are not known at all.

She owes everything to her aunt. Whatever she is today is 'coz of her aunt. Due to Benazir's name she is not known through her father's activities. I wonder why she never mentions about those activities in her talks and interviews. And why the press, both domestic and international... especially the international press does not write a word about those activities. What has been the give and take... ???

Benazir inturn was completely self-made.

Thursday, December 24, 2009 4:09:00 AM  

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