Original Articles

Deconstructing Fatima Bhutto – by Abdul Nishapuri


Contrary to the right wing propaganda that the PPP is a party of Bhutto worshippers, the party and its workers have on several occasions proven that they do not blindly follow any specific clan. Instead, they value individual characteristics of courage, political leadership, commitment and loyalty to the people’s cause.

After the judicial murder of Zulifqar Ali Bhutto in 1979, the party elected Mrs Nusrat Bhutto as it chairperson. A Bhutto only by marriage, Nusrat Bhutto in fact belonged to a Hariri Esfahani family originating from Esfahan, Iran.

While in the male dominated culture of Pakistan, a male child is usually regarded as the legitimate heir of his father, the PPP did not choose Mir Murtaza Bhutto (Z.A. Bhutto’s eldest son) as its leader. Instead, the party elected Benazir Bhutto as its chairperson.

In fact, when in 1993, Murtaza Bhutto decided to contest election against her sister’s nominees on several seats of national and provincial assemblies, the PPP voters preferred Benazir Bhutto’s candidates over her brother Mir Murtaza Bhutto. This is despite the fact that Benazir Bhutto was married to a non-Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari, and was at least in this respect, Benazir Zardari.

Declan Walsh writes in Guardian:

Murtaza wanted to assume a senior role in her (Benazir Bhutto’s) party, possibly the leadership – a demand in keeping with the patriarchal assumptions of the Sindh province’s landlord classes. Benazir was having none of it. The rows multiplied, the rift grew deeper, and Murtaza formed a splinter party, which had little success.

After the tragic assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007, the PPP’s Central Executive Committee was once again faced with the question of finding a chairperson for the party.

It was however no surprise to the PPP workers that for the second time in the PPP’s history (after Begum Nusrat Bhutto), the party elected a non-Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari, as it co-chairman; another non-Bhutto, Bilawal Zardari, was elected as the party’s chairman.

Why am I digressing into these matters? I intend to make two points:

1. The PPP values individual character and leadership. This is notwithstanding the fact if its chairman belongs to or does not belong to the Bhutto clan.

2. There are several Bhuttos, some of whom assume themselves to be leaders of national or international calibre (e.g. Mumtaz Bhutto and his son Ameer Bux Bhutto, Ghinwa Bhutto, Fatima Bhutto); however, in reality they posses neither commitment to the PPP’s agenda nor people’s trust. Therefore, such Bhuttos do not carry much importance in the PPP workers’ eyes.

Recently I read the following statement by Fatima Bhutto in which she implied that President Asif Zardari was the killer of her father Mir Murtaza Bhutto.

Former Pakistan President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s grand daughter, Fatima Bhutto, has charged ‘uncle’ President Asif Ali Zardari for orchestrating the murder of her father, Mir Murtaza Bhutto, saying the killers of her father are ‘ruling the country at present’.

Speaking during her book ‘Songs of Blood and Sword’ launch function, Fatima described in detail her father’s murder, which took place 14 years ago. Without taking Zardari’s name, she said ‘the man, who orchestrated the crime of killing her father, is presently leading the nation.’

Fatima and her step-mother Ghinwa Bhutto have often hinted that they believe Benazir or her widower Asif Ali Zardari had a hand in the killing of her father Murtaza Bhutto.

Though Benazir made several warm references in her autobiography, ‘Daughter of the East’, to her niece, Fatima believes her aunt tried to split the Bhutto family.
Source: ANI

What a shameful statement!

Fatima could have better consulted her only living aunt Sanam Bhutto who exactly knows (and has publicly stated) that killers of Murtaza Bhutto are the same people who had previously killed Murtaza’s father Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and who subsequently killed his sister Benazir Bhutto.

However, indeed Fatima is not willing to buy this story that the killers of her father are to be traced in the right wing military and civil establishment in Pakistan.

She also conveniently forgot that the real culprits are the same people who are alleged to have somehow influenced Fatima’s real mother (Fauzia) and her mother’s sister to act as the ISI’s operatives. The Ziaist ISI’s clandestine operation resulted in yet another personal tragedy for the Z.A. Bhutto family in 1985, i.e., the murder of Shahnawaz Bhutto, youngest brother of Benazir Bhutto. On July 18, 1985, the 27 year old Shahnawaz was found dead in Nice, France. He died under mysterious circumstances, and the Bhutto family (Begum Nusrat Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto) 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.

Here is an excerpt from Tariq Ali’s article (who as we know is one of the most spiteful critics of Benazir Bhutto):

The young men [Murtaza Bhutto and Shahnawaz Bhutto] feared General Zia’s agents. Each had a young daughter. Shahnawaz lived in an apartment in Cannes. He had been in charge of the ‘military apparatus’ and life in Kabul had exacted a heavier toll on him. He was edgy and nervous.

Relations with his wife were stormy and he told his sister that he was preparing to divorce her. ‘There’s never been a divorce in the family. Your marriage wasn’t even an arranged one … You chose to marry Rehana. You must live with it,’ was Benazir’s revealing reply, according to her memoir.

And then Shahnawaz was found dead in his apartment. His wife claimed he had taken poison, but according to Benazir nobody in the family believed her story; there had been violence in the room and his papers had been searched. Rehana looked immaculate, which disturbed the family. She was imprisoned for three months under the ‘Good Samaritan’ law for not having gone to the assistance of a dying person. After her release she settled in the United States. ‘Had the CIA killed him as a friendly gesture towards their favourite dictator?’ Benazir speculated. She raised other questions too: had the sisters become ISI agents? The truth remains hidden. Not long afterwards Murtaza divorced Fauzia, but kept custody of their three-year-old daughter, Fatima, and moved to Damascus.

Furthermore, this fact is on the record that Fatima Bhutto caused utmost agony and pain to Benazir Bhutto through her ruthless and spiteful actions and remarks which she made to gain cheap popularity and attention. Benazir Bhutto was a very kind hearted lady; however, Fatima Bhutto’s actions and words, on the converse, betrayed a hateful and hypocritical personality.

Only a few days before Benazir Bhutt’s tragic murder in Rawalpindi, this is what Fatima Bhutto wrote and chose to publish to an international audience in the Los Angels Times:

Aunt Benazir’s false promises
Bhutto’s return bodes poorly for Pakistan — and for democracy there.
November 14, 2007

KARACHI — We Pakistanis live in uncertain times. Emergency rule has been imposed for the 13th time in our short 60-year history. Thousands of lawyers have been arrested, some charged with sedition and treason; the chief justice has been deposed; and a draconian media law — shutting down all private news channels — has been drafted.

Perhaps the most bizarre part of this circus has been the hijacking of the democratic cause by my aunt, the twice-disgraced former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. While she was hashing out a deal to share power with Gen. Pervez Musharraf last month, she repeatedly insisted that without her, democracy in Pakistan would be a lost cause. Now that the situation has changed, she’s saying that she wants Musharraf to step down and that she’d like to make a deal with his opponents — but still, she says, she’s the savior of democracy.

The reality, however, is that there is no one better placed to benefit from emergency rule than she is. Along with the leaders of prominent Islamic parties, she has been spared the violent retributions of emergency law. Yes, she now appears to be facing seven days of house arrest, but what does that really mean? While she was supposedly under house arrest at her Islamabad residence last week, 50 or so of her party members were comfortably allowed to join her. She addressed the media twice from her garden, protected by police given to her by the state, and was not reprimanded for holding a news conference. (By contrast, the very suggestion that they might hold a news conference has placed hundreds of other political activists under real arrest, in real jails.)

Ms. Bhutto’s political posturing is sheer pantomime. Her negotiations with the military and her unseemly willingness until just a few days ago to take part in Musharraf’s regime have signaled once and for all to the growing legions of fundamentalists across South Asia that democracy is just a guise for dictatorship.

It is widely believed that Ms. Bhutto lost both her governments on grounds of massive corruption. She and her husband, a man who came to be known in Pakistan as “Mr. 10%,” have been accused of stealing more than $1 billion from Pakistan’s treasury. She is appealing a money-laundering conviction by the Swiss courts involving about $11 million. Corruption cases in Britain and Spain are ongoing.

It was particularly unappealing of Ms. Bhutto to ask Musharraf to bypass the courts and drop the many corruption cases that still face her in Pakistan. He agreed, creating the odiously titled National Reconciliation Ordinance in order to do so. Her collaboration with him was so unsubtle that people on the streets are now calling her party, the Pakistan People’s Party, the Pervez People’s Party. Now she might like to distance herself, but it’s too late.

Why did Ms. Bhutto and her party cronies demand that her corruption cases be dropped, but not demand that the cases of activists jailed during the brutal regime of dictator Zia ul-Haq (from 1977 to 1988) not be quashed? What about the sanctity of the law? When her brother Mir Murtaza Bhutto — my father — returned to Pakistan in 1993, he faced 99 cases against him that had been brought by Zia’s military government. The cases all carried the death penalty. Yet even though his sister was serving as prime minister, he did not ask her to drop the cases. He returned, was arrested at the airport and spent the remaining years of his life clearing his name, legally and with confidence, in the courts of Pakistan.

Ms. Bhutto’s repeated promises to end fundamentalism and terrorism in Pakistan strain credulity because, after all, the Taliban government that ran Afghanistan was recognized by Pakistan under her last government — making Pakistan one of only three governments in the world to do so.

And I am suspicious of her talk of ensuring peace. My father was a member of Parliament and a vocal critic of his sister’s politics. He was killed outside our home in 1996 in a carefully planned police assassination while she was prime minister. There were 70 to 100 policemen at the scene, all the streetlights had been shut off and the roads were cordoned off. Six men were killed with my father. They were shot at point-blank range, suffered multiple bullet wounds and were left to bleed on the streets.

My father was Benazir’s younger brother. To this day, her role in his assassination has never been adequately answered, although the tribunal convened after his death under the leadership of three respected judges concluded that it could not have taken place without approval from a “much higher” political authority.

I have personal reasons to fear the danger that Ms. Bhutto’s presence in Pakistan brings, but I am not alone. The Islamists are waiting at the gate. They have been waiting for confirmation that the reforms for which the Pakistani people have been struggling have been a farce, propped up by the White House. Since Musharraf seized power in 1999, there has been an earnest grass-roots movement for democratic reform. The last thing we need is to be tied to a neocon agenda through a puppet “democrat” like Ms. Bhutto.

By supporting Ms. Bhutto, who talks of democracy while asking to be brought to power by a military dictator, the only thing that will be accomplished is the death of the nascent secular democratic movement in my country. Democratization will forever be de-legitimized, and our progress in enacting true reforms will be quashed. We Pakistanis are certain of this.

Source: LA Times

The question is, why is Fatima involved in a dirty campaign previously against her aunt Benazir Bhutto, and now against her uncle Asif Ali Zardari. Whose game is she playing? Whose interests is she serving?

More importantly, how different is she behaving from other ‘unworthy’ Bhuttos, such as Mumtaz Bhutto and Mullah Asadullah Bhutto?

In the words of Guardian’s Declan Walsh:

Fatima Bhutto is clever, sassy and savours the salty taste of Pakistani public life. She has two books under her belt, writes a punchy newspaper column, and, as a close lieutenant to her vote-seeking mother, is a politician in training…..And for what its worth, she even has the endorsement of Jemima Goldsmith. “At least she has some work experience,” wrote Goldsmith, who was once married to cricket star Imran Khan, in last week’s Sunday Telegraph. (Goldsmith’s expertise in Pakistan, which she left several years ago, was less clear.)

Benazir clearly loved her niece – her autobiography Daughter of the East has several warm references – but Fatima believes she tried to split the family apart. Benazir disparaged Ghinwa as a “Lebanese belly dancer”, and six months after Murtaza’s death persuaded Fatima’s biological mother, Fauzia, to return to Karachi to seek parental custody.

In life, Benazir was touchy about allegations that she bore any responsibility for Murtaza’s death. Instead, she blamed the powerful intelligence services for engineering the killing to split her family. If she was right, the strategy worked spectacularly well. Last month Fatima sent around a link to a YouTube clip of a television interview. It showed Benazir being aggressively questioned about Murtaza’s death, breaking into tears and storming out of the studio. “Her reaction is amazing,” wrote her estranged niece in an acerbic tone.

But the Bhutto legacy is not at rest yet. Mumtaz Bhutto, the self-described head of the Bhutto clan, stirred the pot recently in suggesting that Fatima’s brother, Zulfikar Ali, is the real heir to Benazir’s title. But he is highly unlikely to take on the mantle, and Mumtaz’s comments may be a product of his longstanding rivalry with Bilawal’s father, Zardari. They are also a product of a bygone age – the succession of Bilawal and the bypassing of the bloodline proves that Pakistan opposition politics are about Benazir more than Bhutto.

Source: Guardian

In her own words (reported in Declan Walsh’s 2008 article), Fatima Bhutto says:

“I don’t believe in birthright politics. I don’t think, nor have I ever thought, that my name qualifies me for anything. I am political through my writing.”

You are lying, Ftaima. It is “Bhutto” in your name and the fact that you are a granddaughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and a niece of Benazir Bhutto which is keeping you in the news.

You are playing this dirty game very well, but your fate won’t be much different from the (so called) head of the the Bhutto clan, Mumtaz Bhutto, who is deeply despised by the PPP workers and the Pakistani nation in general because of his hypocritical and opportunistic style of politics.

Birds of a feather flock together!

Related articles: https://lubpak.net/?s=”fatima+bhutto

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Abdul Nishapuri

38 Comments

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  • Very shameful article by you, for following reasons. Didn’t you feel shame at all writing things about her, which are falling back on to you!
    Party chooses non-Bhutto, then why the heck did your President, change the name of Bilawal to Bhutto. And by the way it was not Party rather Benazir Bhutto’s will that forced you all to choose him (What a lier).

    Fatima using Bhutto name and is known because of this. Shame! She is writer and has proven herself a brilliant writer both in Pakistan and abroad, not by contesting election etc. She is the real heiress to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, not Bilawal or Bhukhtawa etc, who have taken the name of Bhutto Sahb.

    She has a valid fight against the President, you shouldn’t bother to write-back on her. Sanam Bhutto is naive woman, she dislikes politics so she doesn’t know lots about politics of Pakistan.

    You really should be ashamed why thatching a lie of branding Fatima Bhutto to be using Bhutto name, the fact is that she really is Bhutto, she is not married yet, she is actual heiress of Bhutto family. Instead of this your Bilawal should be ashamed for using name of Bhutto being a Zardari.

    I must tell you also, that Fatima Bhutto is far intelligent than your itsy-bitsy Bilawal Zardari, she has hormones of wisdom from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mir Murtaza Bhutto, and Benazir Bhutto…..

  • Come on give the kid a break, Fatima Bhutto is just like any other Pakistani who thinks that the dad’s side of family is an evil lot. She accuses her phuppo and phuppa of taking away the family heirloom PPP, well so does millions of other Pakistanis but in their case its normally a piece of jewelry or a house that people accuse their phuppos and chachas of taking away.

    People of Pakistan have decided who is the rightful heir of the legacy, what Fatima Bhutto thinks matters little.

  • i still remember her statement published on 19th october 2007 ; i.e the next day of BB tragic return to Pakistan. statement ” BB has killed her own party workers to gain sympathies of voters “. Does she has any proof for that ? does relatives of 18th october karsaz tragedy martyr consider BB responsible for their relatives dead ?

  • @Khan You may consider the fact that for most PPP workers and Pakistanis, word Bhutto does not represent the Bhutto clan. They use this word to remember and revere Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, two of the most courageous leaders that the PPP has produced. Zardari has proven himself to be a true successor of ZAB and BB through his perseverance (called mard-e-hurr even by his most bitter critics) and through politics of reconciliation.

    Thus, each one of us is a Bhutto and each one of us is a Zardari , symbolically speaking.

  • I respect and adore Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto most. Some universal legendary names. Symbol never speaks for the earlier, not even close.

  • @Larkanian You said: she has hormones of wisdom from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mir Murtaza Bhutto, and Benazir Bhutto….

    Perhaps part of that wisdom also flows from Lebanon (via Ghinwa Bhutto), the ISI (via her real mother Fauzia), and also from the morally bankrupt opportunist from Larkana (Mumtaz Bhutto)

  • Could you please point me to that youtube clip you alluded to where Benazir was grilled on Murtaza’s death. Tried searching for it but could not find it. Thanks in advance.

  • In 1973, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto sacked his cousin Mumtaz Ali’s government in Sindh after Urdu-Sindhi riots.

    On April 4, 1979, when Zulfiqar was hanged by Gen Zia-ul-Haq, Mumtaz decided to keep quiet. After Zulfiqar’s execution, Mumtaz wanted to be the PPP leader and he opposed Benazir and Nusrat Bhutto’s agitational politics against the military regime.

    At the peak of the Benazir-led Movement for Restoration of Democracy campaign in 1980s, Mumtaz advocated a hardline approach for Sindh as a confederate republic, with an aim to destabilized the MRD campaign.

    His expulsion from the PPP at the hands of his niece, Benazir, led him to found the Sindh-Baloch-Pakhtoon Front in 1985. He now heads the Sindh National Front.

    Mumtaz, 73, never forgave Benazir for throwing him out of the party. Just two weeks before her assassination, Mumtaz was spitting fire at his niece, blaming her for cutting off water supply to his land for the past 15 years.

    And, just a few hours after Benazir was buried at the family mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Baksh, Mumtaz opened a new front in the family war by casting doubts on the authenticity of Benazir’s will. He called Asif Ali Zardari, widower of Benazir, an opportunist and accused him of hijacking the party.

    In fact, Benazir’s estrangement with her clan began in 1987 when she married Zardari – a petty businessman and small Baloch landowner from Nawabshah.

    Murtaza Bhutto’s death in 1996 raised many eyebrows and the Bhutto family feud became more intense as Murtaza’s Lebanese-born widow Ghinwa formally charged Benazir and Zardari as collaborators in the crime.

    The establishment kept Zardari behind bars for seven long years on charges of murdering his brother-in-law, without a formal conviction in the case. After Murtaza’s death, Ghinwa began to lead PPP (Shaheed Bhutto), with the backing of all the estranged leaders of Peoples Party who had a score to settle with Benazir on personal and political grounds. Despite her acidic attacks on Benazir, Ghinwa was not able to make a dent into her sister-in-law’s towering image.

    As Benazir emerged as a truly national leader, she dwarfed everyone else in the clan.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
    6 Jan 2008
    Ishtiaq Ali Mehkri

  • Sardar Mumtaz Ali Khan Bhutto was amongst those notorious Five Uncles [i.e Ghulam Mustafa Khar {Lion of Punjab}, Mumtaz Ali Bhutto {Dahesar}, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi {as per Dawn News 2008 TV Show involved in Mehran Bank Scandal}, and Maulana Kausar Niazi {Former Deputy of Maulana Mawdoodi}, Abdul Hafeez Peerzada {Sohna Munda}] of Late. Ms. Benazir Bhutto who betrayed the widow Ms. Nusrat Bhutto after the Judicial Murder of Zoulfiqar Ali Bhutto by General Zia, Maudoodi, Jamat-e-Islami, USA, Henry Kissinger and last but not the least Judiciary in 1979. They left her high and dry when they were needed and many amongst those Uncles of Benazir Bhutto were helped by e.g. Ghulam Mustaf Khar, Lt. General Retd. Faiz Ali Chishti [the backbone of General Zia’s Martial Law and nowadays a Pseudo Claimant of Restoration of Democarcy under the banner of Nondescript Ex Servicemen Society].
    Mumtaz Bhutto’s loved Zoulfiqar Bhutto so much that only after a few days of ZAB’s Murder, both Mumtaz and Hafeez Peerzada got married [Courtesy Monthly Herald Pakisatn Divided They Stand by Mazhar Abbas Issue of January 2008].
    Mumtaz Bhutto loved late Ms. Benazir Bhutto so much that after the dismissal of her second government [1993-1996] by PPP elected President Tumandar Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Laghari, he joined the Caretaker Chief Minister of Sindh under President Laghri in 1996 so much for the love of Ms. Bhutto.
    Tummandar Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Laghari
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/11/tummandar-sardar-farooq-ahmed-khan.html

  • Jemima Goldsmith (Imran Khan’s ex-wife) comes to the rescue of Fatima Bhutto:

    If a Bhutto must run Pakistan, why not Fatima?

    By Jemima Khan
    06 Jan 2008

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/3553354/If-a-Bhutto-must-run-Pakistan-why-not-Fatima.html

    Two comments on Jemima’s article:

    Azfar Hussain:
    Why Ms.Khan is worried about PPP’s future?I believe she is not a member or office-bearer of this party. Choosing the party leadership is entirely internal party affairs.Do PPP’s workers and office holders need outside advise?

    JinnahFan:
    Yet another naive, uninformed Western person pontificating on what Pakistanis should/should not do. I think you should listen to some of the speeches of your ex…especially the part about where he says that the reason that most of these govts have not run well is because they have been Western puppets. Also, so the PPP isn’t democratic internally…then what? People have the option of not voting for them! Only those like Jemima who are jealous of the party’s reaches within the heart of Pakistan are bashing them on this point. Seriously, if people realize that they want a wholly democratic party, then maybe they’ll vote for good old Imran….don’t hold your breath.

  • Mr Mumtaz Bhutto and Press Freedom!
    1 – Hyderabad Dawn reporter brutally assaulted Friday, 01 Jan, 2010
    http://beta.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/provinces/04-dawn-reporter-attacked-qs-07

    2 – Attack on Dawn reporter: delay in culprits’ arrest slated Dawn Report Saturday, 02 Jan, 2010 http://beta.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/12-attack-on-newsman-delay-in-culprits-arrest-slated–bi-06

    3 – Outrage over Hyderabad attack on Dawn reporter Dawn Report Saturday, 02 Jan, 2010 http://beta.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/16-outrage-over-hyderabad-attack-on-dawn-reporter-210-hs-09

  • Fatima Bhutto seeks Elahi Buksh Soomro’s help to re-organize PPP

    KARACHI: Fatima Bhutto has telephoned senior politician Elahi Buksh Soomro and sought his co-operation in politics and to re-organise the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Online reported Friday.
    Soomro was a friend of Fatima’s grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. They discussed the overall political situation of the country and Soomro assured Fatima of all help. When contacted, Soomro said that Fatima had expressed the desire to meet him as well. He said that Fatima Bhutto has the potential to play the role of a leader in politics.

    Differences are emerging in the PPP, Soomro said, adding that, only Mumtaz Bhutto can unify the Bhutto family. Pakistan is facing a critical time, he maintained. The leadership of the PPP has been divided, he remarked. PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari is more powerful than Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani. He concluded that Zardari’s political popularity has reduced considerably because President Pervez Musharraf has not been impeached. online

    http://www.opfblog.com/2950/fatima-bhutto-seeks-elahi-buksh-soomro%E2%80%99s-help-to-re-organize-ppp/

  • Fatima Bhutto wants to make own political mark

    Sunday, January 27, 2008
    NEW DELHI: Fatima Bhutto says she wants to make her own political mark and not be a “political inheritor,” media reported on Saturday.

    Fatima’s striking looks, strong will and charm have led to comparisons with her famous aunt Benazir Bhutto and suggestions by political observers that she could be an eventual political successor despite deep rifts within the Bhutto family. “I am also a political Bhutto and I also know how the name restricts me,” Fatima, a poet and author, told a literary festival in the northern Indian city of Jaipur.

    “I don’t want to be a political inheritor and would like to make my own mark. Politics in Pakistan should promote the new generation beyond the lineage system,” she said, according to India’s Mail Today.

    Fatima wrote several articles critical of her aunt around the time Benazir returned to Pakistan late last year to contest forthcoming elections. She called her aunt “the most dangerous woman in Pakistan” before Benazir was slain at a campaign rally in December.

    “I don’t regret that I wrote against my aunt, but I am terribly grieved with the way she was done to death,” Fatima was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “The attack on her was an attack on Pakistan. The Bhuttos have paid a very high price for being in politics,” she said. Fatima said if she wrote against Benazir, “it was never personal, always political.”

    Fatima’s father, Murtaza Ali Bhutto, was gunned down in mysterious circumstances in 1996. His death took place when Benazir was prime minister, an event for which Fatima has said she holds her aunt “morally responsible.”

    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=12549

  • @Ali K.
    I could not find the clip of BB’s TV interview, however, here is her public address at Mir Murtaza Bhutto’s murder:

  • Fatima Bhutto comes across as a hypocrite. While she and the rest of her civil society fans were castigating Shaheed Bibi for her “deal” with Musharaf, the text copied below is what she wrote in May 2008 in defense of Musharaf!!! Incidentally, today, we can all see that it was Shaheed Bibi and her stand against Musharaf that has made the start of democracy possible in Pakistan and not dubious movements that have posited themselves against democratic process.

    As regards to Fatima Bhutto, check out the note below that is prefaced by a critical and realistic introduction of FB.

    Engenue for the establishment and its Islamist apologizers, Tariq Ali’s
    > heroine and the Left’s reincarnation of Rosa Luxembourg, I introduce
    > dictatorship’s new defender, Fatima Bhutto! Fresh from trashing (repeatedly)
    > a dead aunt and for selling a compelling and charming narrative that blames
    > BB and Zardari for her father’s death, FB reveals her true agenda; that of
    > an articulate defender of dictatorship. And to think that we call castigated
    > her slain aunt for that “deal”!
    >
    > Oh why, why did we have an election. Why couldn’t we just allow an elitist
    > establishment to continue ruling us… Why the hell should we be talking
    > about the rights of the those Sindhis and Baluchis and Pakhtoons and who the
    > hell are the minorities to give their views. They are all traitors and our
    > real heros are the Taliban who are fighting the imperialist US and who will
    > one day deliver Afghanistan from US occupation and we will revel amongst
    > cauldrons of beefy niharis and spicy biryanis served to us by servants who
    > should never have the right to vote, especially if they are going to vote
    > PPP!

    >
    > Read on
    > ———————————————————-
    > ‘Musharraf’s role in government is to wait and watch’
    >
    > http://www.brecorder..com/index.php?id=733578&currPageNo=2&query=&search=&term=&supDate=
    > MONITORING DESK
    >
    > KARACHI (May 06 2008): Fatima Bhutto, the daughter of slain Murtuza Bhutto,
    > has said that so long as there is an American occupation of Afghanistan,
    > President Musharraf will remain viable and indispensable. In an interview
    > carried by CounterPunch she also says that Musharraf came into power because
    > people were fed up with Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto.
    >
    > Then, according to her, Nawaz and Benazir came back to Pakistan, because
    > people were fed up with Musharraf. “And when people are finished with Asif
    > Zardari and Nawaz, they will go back to Musharraf.” Answering a question
    > about Musharraf’s future, she says Musharraf has played his cards badly
    > inside the country. He has lost a lot of control and power within the
    > country.
    >
    > “Personally, I think his role in the government is to wait and watch. He has
    > enabled this government to come forward and perhaps quite wisely. This is
    > the government that has to deal with price inflation, greenage shortages; it
    > has to deal with a civil war that is brewing across the country, which is no
    > longer in the tribal areas. This is the government that has to deal with
    > renewed American strength in Pakistan.
    >
    > We’ve seen since 2008 a tremendous amount of American air strikes, and they
    > are reported as having great accuracy and tremendous precision, but it is
    > never explained to us who is allowing the Americans to come in almost
    > directly and conduct their business on Pakistan soil. So this government has
    > to deal with a de facto American invasion and occupation of parts of
    > Pakistan.”
    >
    > She adds: “I think Musharraf prefers that these other politicians and
    > parties deal with that, while he sits on the sidelines and waits for them to
    > fail. But the question is will they allow him to do this and have any part
    > of it? Will he have any future once this government disintegrates? I think
    > that is looking increasingly unlikely as time goes by.”

  • excellent analysis.i would recommend the LUBP to check out BB’s interview to jasmeen manzoor in the programme ”the pulse with jasmeen manzoor” on the ‘business plus’ channel(probably her last interview recorded in pakistan before her death).in this interview she discussed in detail about murtaza bhutto’s death.furthermore, if possible,put this interview on the you tube.its worth watching

  • larkanian,”sanam bhutto is naive.she dislikes politics and doesnt know about pakistani politics”.well,well,well,ZAB’s lovely daughter is naive,but the labenese belly-dancer,ms ghinwa bhutto, is the wisest of all.her interview with kamran shahid is enough to judge her ”political wisdom”.sanam bhutto has said in her press conference that she has learned politics from benazir.howcome you judge that she knows nothing about politics.further more noone knows fatima’s father,murtaza bhutto.both in national and international media she is referred as benazir bhutto’s neice.the woman she hates the most has actually become her reference to the international audience.infact,fatima earned her fame and popularity by writing against benazir .i would recommend the article”an open letter to fatima bhutto” published in daily times.further more ,iwould also like the LUBP team to refer to the articles and books by mr.bashir riaz,a close confidant of the bhutto family on murtaza’s death

  • @salma Thanks for pointing us to the following letter.

    OPEN LETTER TO FATIMA BHUTTO

    It is for bread we fight, but we fight for roses too…

    Dear Fatima:

    I looked forward to your articles over much of 2007. I read you with interest. My sense of you was of a serious and sincere young woman who had sensitivity and an openness that was engaging.

    Unfortunately your very personalized and somewhat vicious attack on Benazir Bhutto a couple of months ago jolted me. You came through then as a bitter, betrayed and judgmental niece and not as a columnist (in my view newspaper columns are not meant to settle personal scores). I have no doubt that you are in pain and that you do feel betrayed but by forcibly drawing me into a personal pain you insulted and trampled on my integrity as a reader.

    I don’t want to be a part of the internal pain and betrayals of the Bhutto family. My concern is only at the level of what the Bhutto’s were, are and will be in the public sphere since I am in no way associated with the Bhutto’s and nor in fact with the PPP. I respected Benazir Bhutto for a lot of things (while being only too critical of her failings) but I was particularly appreciative of the fact that she didn’t air her family linen in public even under extreme provocation. Nor I understand did she indulge in personal vendettas or bear too many grudges (in some cases I think she should have!). She was either very ‘politic’ or very magnanimous. Either way I felt better that she was not publicly vicious and that she kept her personal pain and betrayals to herself. I always felt that she dealt with me as a citizen and as a woman and in that gave me respect.

    Given that I believe in due process and believe that a person is innocent until proved guilty (and that not be a fixed court as in the judgment against Z.A. Bhutto) I don’t like to indulge in hearsay, suspicion, speculation, innuendo or gossip. I am sorry that you (and others) force this upon me thereby challenging my integrity and my ability to think things through. I am not suggesting that I exonerate murder (not under any circumstances), nor corruption, but I do insist that this not be based on personal ‘truths’ or personal biases etc. Death, any death ‘diminishes’ me (and all of us) and while I feel for your pain and am appalled that Murtaza, a man of such promise should have been so ruthlessly gunned down, I do think that you should refrain from misusing your ‘power’ as a columnist (and as a Bhutto) to make unsubstantiated charges. I too would like to see those who cause death punished. But logic intervenes in my own understanding of Murtaza Bhutto’s murder and I am not able to point a finger at anyone. I will come back to this ‘logic’ later, for now I would like to explore another aspect of that same article that I refer to.

    As a feminist I am appalled that you are so deriding of Benazir as a woman. Your article brought to the fore how ingrained sexism is so many of us and how easily even the ‘best’ of us who can obliterate a woman’s identity even when that woman has nurtured a self definition despite all odds and often at great pains to herself. By calling Benazir ‘Mrs. Zardari’ you insulted not just her but all of us women who have tried to carve out our identities within a rampant and sinister patriarchal structure. That you should so flippantly be a part of this makes me reconsider your politics regarding women’s equality and I begin to wonder where your identity will lie should you get married (will you cease to be a Bhutto? I hope not!) I would like to point out though that a majority of women in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world do not become ‘Mrs.’ or ‘Begum’ when they get married. This is common only in urban upper and middle class circles and is a heritage of colonialism. Fatima how many village women have you come across in Larkana who are called ‘Mrs.’? I don’t think the word exists in our languages. Nor should it…Further although I would and do stay away from theological references I understand that in Islam Muslims will be ‘called upon’ by their mothers’ name. This ideological and empirical ambivalence lend themselves to much confusion on the status of the natal family and parentage in terms of identity and recognition but I do think that it supports my position that the term ‘Mrs.’ is an aberration and actually irrelevant.

    Benazir was a Bhutto regardless of how you and others may want to play it. She was a Bhutto by birth but also by conviction and by commitment just as I think you will always be if you were to continue to articulate whatever it is that Bhutto stands for (regardless of whom you marry). I am also very disturbed by the present prurient debate on parentage and spousal identification or on who can wear the Bhutto name triggered off by Benazir’s children adding Bhutto to theirs. As a feminist I am delighted by this and only wish that it had been done much earlier as several children have taken on both their parents’ names even in Pakistan. I understand that Benazir was intrigued that Abida Hussain’s son is named Abid Hussain Imam (using both his parents’ names) and thought that this was apt. I think so too and think that all children should be known as the children of both or neither. I am also delighted that by claiming their mother’s name and home and with her husband changing his residence (and his burial place I understand), these Bhutto’s are declaring to the world that their legitimacy at every level derives from their association with a woman. I think that this is fantastic given that women in the main get their identities from their fathers, husbands, sons and brother or even uncles etc. This is striking a blow to one of the foundations of patriarchy and even through Zardari and his and Benazir’s children may not have intended to make such a challenge, this is still an affirmation of matrilineal and matrilocal norms and is… well…feminist. That the people of Pakistan accept this makes me further interested and supportive.

    I have found that I have been affirmed by the response of the people (and particularly the members and voters of the PPP) to a woman, a young woman leading them even though Bhutto had male heirs. Much is made of her being a child of the Bhuttos and therefore gaining respectability and a legacy above all others because she was a Bhutto. I do think that it is important however not to forget that she did have brothers and Murtaza Bhutto did come back to challenge her within the party and with the people. I am aware of the argument that she ‘stole’ the legacy of the PPP and even distorted it. Perhaps she did maneuver it but she could not have been successful then or later if the party had not gone along with her or if she had not been able to get out the vote. Like most people in this country I continue to be very pained by Murtaza Bhutto’s murder and do think that this tragedy is a tragedy shared by the nation. I remember when he returned and remembered his promise but I was very disturbed by his returning to ‘claim his inheritance as a male heir’ (I don’t know if he said this but I do remember it being an argument in the public when he returned with some newspapers quoting him to this effect). I am also enraged that a father should separate his daughter from her mother at the age of three (no matter what the reasons). No law, religion or system allows for this. I appreciate that now you may not be interested in your blood mother but who knows what your stand would have been had Murtaza facilitated your getting to know her at an early age. Too many skeletons in all our closets! And I am only sorry that you, by opening up a family drama, have propelled me to open up other wounds.

    I marvel though at the sophistication of the people who voted for Benazir especially when there was another PPP (several others in fact) to vote for over the last 15 years or so. I think that this is not because she had a better manifesto (I haven’t seen the manifestos of the other PPP offshoots and hers may even have been more pedantic). As I understand it and as people who voted for her explained to me over the years, they had an affinity with Benazir…she was theirs. She had suffered with them and for them. Those years that she spent fighting for her father’s life and against General Zia Ul Haq, the stories of her solitary confinements; house arrests; her courage in the face of the martial law; her resilience and her commitment at a young age (without emotional and personal support) to a cause larger than herself is writ large in the hearts of people. It is for this same reason that others who were with the PPP are no longer of much relevance except as spoilers. I have always wondered where the companions of Bhutto (the ‘uncles’), and the second line leadership were in those years. Some jumped, others were silent, still others dragged their feet, some went off in a huff, some genuinely disagreed and some turned traitor. The names can be reeled off but I would still like to ask Mumtaz Bhutto, Peerzada, Mubashir, Jatoi etc.were (as also Atizaz Ahsan) what role they played, first with Bhutto’s struggles when he was in jail and then hanged, or later with Benazir’s (I don’t recall them making too much of a noise). How much of a role did they even play in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy? My memory may be faulty on this score but I don’t recall them putting their lives on the line. I don’t recall them suffering. Fortunately Benazir was supported by others with the same commitment as hers.

    I appreciate that Murtaza and Shahnawaz Bhutto and many others were following their own form of resistance but however sincere (and I do believe in the sincerity) that adventurism led to countless deaths, prison sentences, torture, and disappearances not least perhaps the murder of Shahnawaz himself. A friend of mine spent ten years in jail tortured, often in solitary confinement, left without hope, on the grounds that the state suspected him of being a member of Al Zulfikar. He says sometimes he would get news of Bhutto’s sons, their marriages, their chidren, their time in Europe, and he would also get news of Benazir…in solitary or under house arrest. He says she spoke up for those in jail, that she sent messages or otherwise addressed them. They felt less alone with the very fact of her. This friend was released in 1989. He was still only 27 years old but defying logic, rationality, objectivity, intellectualism, he has supported Benazir since. However faded or ‘irrational’ he continued to dream.

    This dream is the crux of peoples’ engagement with the Bhutto family. It is in giving voice to this dream that holds people to the PPP; it is this dream that makes for the resentment of the Bhuttos within the power structure and with the establishment (military or civil); it is this dream that makes those who support a Bhutto a threat to the status quo; and it is this dream that makes those who are the status quo insecure. So many people argue that Benazir (and for that matter Bhutto) did very little for those who supported them. Those who had something to lose if the Bhutto’s had challenged the structures of society, say this with comfort and with glee. This is understandable. But the detractors, the middle class, urban progressives, intellectuals, academicians, ‘left’ activists and ‘left’ pretenders who add to this ‘they didn’t do anything’ refrain are to my mind either unable to understand liberal bourgeois democracy or are unable to see reform for what is it…a slow, laborious, tedious, and frustrating process that I myself am impatient with. Yet I don’t expect mainstream politicians to bring revolutions. I only expect the more progressive among them not to reverse whatever progress might have been made and to push the parameters. The Bhuttos did what I thought they could do. In any case I am not nor have ever been a member of the PPP and as a socialist and feminist always criticized and challenged the Bhutto’s from the left. I have not allowed this criticism however to negate what they did do and in some cases this would be substantial even if some of it cannot be quantified. But at the very least it was that they articulated a humanity that touched their supporters. This I salute, legacy or not. I am reminded of one of the most poignant songs that have come out of the women’s movement called Bread and Roses “…yes it is for bread we fight for but we fight for roses too…” It was the roses Fatima, the roses… perhaps it still is…(as also the bread).

    In the 60 years of Pakistan a Bhutto has only been in power for about 10 and yet this name looms large both for supporters and detractors. I wonder at this especially for the latter. Why does the focus always stay on the Bhuttos (as opposed to all other politicians and even the military governments?) Why are Benazir’s all too brief terms in office still under the microscope; why are all her wrongs always in the public discourse (urban discourse in the main); why does she bring on such fury…? Further why does the murder of Murtaza figure more than the suspicion of murder of Shahnawaz? Why is there no ‘objective’ thinking through of Benazir’s involvement (or lack of) in the murder of her brother Murtaza? I have been troubled by this last since 1996 not because I think that she could not have done it (after all murders, betrayals, ambitions, kidnappings, taking children away from a parent usually a mother, etc. are fairly common in ‘royal’, feudal and patriarchal families) but I am perplexed about the whole process of such a judgment. I am for instance baffled by the fact that Leghari, Sharif and Musharaf didn’t conduct inquiries that would have proved this. Surely then they could have hanged her and/or Asif? Or at the very least could have preventing them from ever returning to Pakistan. Leghari dismissed Benazir’s government soon after Murtaza’s murder. The interim government was meant to look into her misdeeds as were the governments of Sharif and Musharaf. Why did they not convict her for this crime (or even Asif who spent time in jail for this and other charges). I have always maintained and still do that the murderers could not be exposed…perhaps because they continue to be powerful elements in the establishment.

    I wonder too about populism. It can be a very creative force but it can also be dangerous. To me what is important is to understand what it is that touches people to the extent that they think that these families or individuals can determine the course of history. What do the Bhuttos, the Gandhi’s, the Perons, the Kennedys etc. have in common other than youth, tragedy and well…good looks!? What does political stardom mean? Why do people need to create larger than life characters and yet still be accessible enough to mirror the anguish of a people?

    While the larger problematic of populism intrigues me it is perhaps in order for me to focus on the Bhuttos and try to understand populism in our own context. I don’t think that the Bhutto ‘legacy’ has only to do with one’s association to a family. We have only too many politicians here who are associated with a particular family and this in itself does not play out as populism. I have tried to understand this both as an activist and an academic and continue to grapple with it. But I accept it as phenomenon and only hope that those who are heirs to this populism can steer this in a manner that is in the best interests of those who place such faith in them.

    You and your step mother, Ghinwa Bhutto, argue that the name Bhutto should not determine political success and nor should it give privilege. I agree but then do wonder why Ghinwa Bhutto leads her faction of the PPP as Murtaza’s widow and wonder also why she has continued to head it. Is it not her husband’s name that she exploits and is the Bhutto ‘legacy’ not being used here? And you Fatima, is the media, and political, and social circles not focusing on you only because you are a Bhutto? Surely every young Pakistani professional woman is not being interviewed by the London Times and the Guardian etc.? Or being feted and read here and abroad (not even older women who may have made significant contributions to Pakistan let alone ‘ordinary’ women get this type of celebrity status no matter how much they may deserve it)? Do you not also play the Bhutto card every time you accept or court celebrity status? Do you not already have an edge that you have not worked for and you will not continue to have this edge even if you do decide to just work ‘with the grass roots’ and continue your writing?

    Actually I have no problems with this. I only have problems with your saying that you don’t. You are an ‘heir’ to the Bhutto legacy, a legacy shared by all the grandchildren of Nusrat and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. These grandchildren would include to my mind the children of Sanam and Shahnawaz Bhutto (every one seems to have forgotten them!). I hope that all of you can reach out to each other in the interests of those who ‘need’ a Bhutto and can take this legacy and this history forward together. All of you even those of you who do not want to get directly involved at the moment, have a role to play if for no other reason than to keep the PPP together as a national multi-ethnic, multi-class trans-gender, trans-religious, liberal, progressive and I hope, secular party that reflects the interests of all the provinces and areas of Pakistan. As the family ‘elder’ your role and responsibility is perhaps more cut out since I think it is for you to reach out to all of them (including Shahnawaz’s daughter Sassi Bhutto). I also think that all the Bhutto grandchildren should have to earn the respect and the love of the people who support them. The Bhutto myth lies to a large extent in that they worked and suffered for those who supported them…enough for them to risk their own lives…and lose. I would hate for the Bhutto ‘legacy’ to now be handed on a platter to Bilawal, to you or to any other grandchild without him or her having earned it. Earning it is a long and potentially dangerous struggle even if you decide to work only at a local level. None of you however are ‘too young’ as is being suggested. Benazir Bhutto was about your age when she took on her monumental task and Bilawal is not much younger than her, Murtaza or Shahnawaz were when circumstances forced the Bhutto mantel onto them.

    I wish you a life of commitment, energy and courage…

    Sincerely

    Nighat Said Khan

    *Nighat Said Khan is the Director of Institute for Women’s Studies, Lahore/Applied Socio-economic Research Center, Pakistan

    Source: Friday Times
    http://thefridaytimes.com/
    January 2009

    http://nabihameher.wordpress.com/2008/01/29/wafs-open-letter-to-fatima-bhutto/

  • Commentary on the above letter by Pak Tea House:

    This eloquent piece by Nighat Said Khan*, published by the Friday Times, is a reminder for the bright and ambitious Fatima Bhutto that she should get her politics sorted out before she ventures to settle intra-family scores in the public domain. I have also noted that the upper middle classes of Pakistan have given huge attention to Fatima’s recent invective against her late “Adi”. Fatima is surely a budding literary talent but her politics alas falls short of historical consciousness and betrays a lack of understanding of the nuances of Pakistan’s homegrown struggle for democracy.

    In her earnest attempts to say the right thing, Fatima not only negates herself but also reinforces the Pakistani establishment’s long held biases against the murdered Bhuttos. The two Bhuttos – father and daughter – were no saints nor the best of administrators. However, they represented a threat to the status quo as Nighat mentions and thereby personified the struggle for democracy.

    If Fatima does not believe in heirs or dynasties then why is her immediate family doing political business in the name of late Murtaza Bhutto. And why above all she plays the Bhutto card with such ease and aplomb.

    Perhaps good advice from Fatima, like charity, should begin at home.

    Two quotes from this excellent piece deserve attention:

    But the detractors, the middle class, urban progressives, intellectuals, academicians, “left” activists and “left” pretenders who add to this, “they didn’t do anything” refrain, are to my mind either unable to understand liberal bourgeois democracy or are unable to see reform for what it is – a slow, laborious, tedious and frustrating process. I don’t expect mainstream politicians to bring revolutions.

    And you, Fatima, is not the media and political and social circles focusing on you only because you are a Bhutto? Surely every young Pakistani professional woman is not being interviewed by the London Times and the Guardian? Do you also not play the Bhutto card every time you accept or court celebrity status? Do you not already have an edge that you have not earned?

    http://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2008/02/14/open-letter-to-fatima-bhutto/

  • No Offence intended toward Ms. Fatimah Bhutto or her Late. Mir Murtaza Bhutto [May Allah bless his soul eternally in Jannatul Firdaus]

    Who Killed Bhuttos? http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/who-killed-bhuttos.html

    “QUOTE”

    Former interior minister Naseerullah Babar paid glowing tributes to Shoaib Suddle for restoring peace in Karachi when in 1994 the Army was withdrawn from the metropolitan city. He said the ISI was involved in the murder of Murtaza Bhutto. He said he had formed a commission to probe against the ISI but pressure was mounted on him and afterwards the inquiry was givenup. He criticized the MQM decision to join forces with the opposition. He said the MQM should join the government for the sake of peace in Karachi.

    ‘Bill to cut president down to size this week’ News Desk

    http://thenews.jang.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=14093

    Jawab Deyh with Iftikhar Ahmed [courtesy GEO TV]Murder Story Of Murtaza Bhutto By Justice Nasir Part5/6

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZIT9dDIZgfk&feature=related

    “UNQUOTE”

    “The tribunal held later in 1997 ruled that Murtaza could not have been killed without approval from the highest echelons of government.” [Justice Retd Nasir Aslam Zahid]Please tell which echelon of the government is highest? Have you seen the movie ‘JFK’ by Oliver Stone if not then please watch it again and again, it will solve many of your puzzles.”Quote”As per Ghazali BookThe Fourth Republic Chapter IXWhile the people speculated about the motives behind the killing of Mir Murtaza Bhutto, Dr. Mubashir Hasan, a former Finance Minister and a founder member of the PPP, was very blunt in his remarks: “For those whohave removed Murtaza from our midst, the real problem has been and is Prime Minister Benazir. As long as Murtaza was alive, removing Benazir carried unacceptable risks. Murtaza could take over the mantle of the elder Bhutto’s legend. Else Murtaza and Benazir would be striving for a common cause, separately or jointly. That would have presented formidablepolitical problems. Murtaza gone, the way is clear. Benazir stands perilously weakened. She is the next to go. Such are the brutal pathways of realpolitik.” [Dawn 25.9.1996.] [1]

    As per UNHCR report:Question and Answer Research Papers UPDATE ON THE MOHAJIR QAUMI MOVEMENT (MQM) IN KARACHI:

    On 20 September 1996, in a case that would eventually bring down the government, Karachi police shot and killed Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s estranged brother and political rival, Mir Murtaza Bhutto, and seven of his bodyguards outside his Karachi residence (Country Reports 1996 1997, 1466; The Herald Oct. 1996b, 24; The News 24 Feb. 1997; HRCP 1996, 50-51).Police claimed the men were killed in an encounter that began when officers attempted to arrest the bodyguards for terrorist acts and possession of unregistered weapons (Country Reports 1996 1997, 1466; The Herald Oct. 1996b, 24; AFP 19 Dec. 1996). Murtaza Bhutto had headed a PPP faction called Shaheed (“martyr”) Bhutto that was opposed to his sister’s governing PPP and at times allied with the MQM in Karachi (The Herald Oct. 1996c, 26; Reuters 26 Sept. 1996; Dawn 28 Jan. 1997). On 17 September police and Rangers had arrested Murtaza’s second-in-command, Ali Mohammed Soonara, who was suspected of being behind numerous terrorist attacks in Karachi (The Herald Oct. 1996c, 26; ibid. Oct. 1996b, 24; HRCP 1996, 50-51).

    According to The Herald, just hours after the arrest Murtaza Bhutto, anticipating that police would torture Soonara to obtain information and then kill him, led his bodyguards in a raid on two Criminal Investigation Agency (CIA) centres in a failed attempt to free Soonara (ibid. Oct. 1996c, 26; ibid. Oct. 1996b, 24). Police then registered cases against Murtaza and his bodyguards, which led to the 20 September confrontation (HRCP 1996, 51; The Herald Oct. 1996c, 26; ibid. Oct. 1996b, 24).

    According to The Herald, Murtaza Bhutto had been travelling in an armed motorcade that police intercepted outside his residence (Oct. 1996b, 25-28). The Herald report indicates that a single shot appears to have set off a volley of shots from police; police claim there was a prolonged shoot-out, but according to witnesses there was little return fire from Murtaza’s guards (ibid.).

    Writing in The Herald in October 1996, Hasan Zaidi argued that the case highlighted a profound loss of faith among Pakistanis: “the lack of trust among the public in the organs of the state and the eroding credibility of institutions is emblematic of a much bigger problem” (Oct. 1996a, 40). Zaidi argued that if the state had been functioning properly, Murtaza’s death would have launched widespread reforms:

    The entire structure and operating procedures of the law enforcement agencies would have come in for review and transformation, making both more accountable to the public, as would have the laxity of laws which allowed Murtaza to move with impunity within the city in a convoy of guards armed to the hilt with deadly weapons. Such a reform movement would have also questioned why certain pockets within the administration were outside the normal chain of command and answerable only to their direct political and military patrons, as is the case with an elite group of police officers in Karachi (ibid., 40-41).

    In fact the case has had wide-reaching ramifications: in early November 1996 President Leghari dismissed the PPP government of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, citing among other issues thousands of extrajudicial killings in Karachi, widespread corruption and a “sustained assault” on the judiciary (AI Nov. 1996, 1; Dialogue Dec. 1996, 4; Country Reports 1996 1997, 1472; India Abroad 15 Nov. 1996; AFP 12 Feb. 1997). In early January 1997 Asif Ali Zardari, husband of Benazir Bhutto, stood charged with Murtaza Bhutto’s murder, along with former interior minister Nasirullah Babar, former Sindh chief minister Syed Abdullah Shah and several police officials, on the evidence of 52 witnesses, including Murtaza’s widow Ghinwa Bhutto (ibid. 19 Dec. 1996; The News 3 Jan. 1997). According to The News from Islamabad,

    The charge-sheet accused Asif Ali Zardari of hatching a conspiracy in connivance with Abdullah Shah, DIG [Deputy Inspector General] Karachi, Dr. Shoaib Suddle and Intelligence Bureau chief Masood Sharif to eliminate Murtaza Bhutto from the political scene. The charge-sheet said that they considered Murtaza Bhutto as a threat to the PPP (ibid.)

    For her part Benazir Bhutto has charged that “there is a nexus between my brother’s death and the president,” testifying before the three-person tribunal investigating the killing that President Leghari was involved in a conspiracy to bring down her government through Murtaza’s death (AFP 12 Nov. 1996; ibid. 19 Dec. 1996; The News 24 Feb. 1997). Mysteries and conspiracy theories surround the case: for example, a key witness, police officer Haq Nawaz, was murdered, there were delays in registering First Information Reports (FIRs), and a mysterious fax allegedly from Military Intelligence reportedly links Benazir Bhutto and her brother to planned terrorist attacks just before Murtaza’s death (Country Reports 1996 1997, 1466; The Herald Oct. 1996a, 40-41; Dawn 17 Feb. 1997).

    In April 1997 the trial of Asif Ali Zardari continued, but the political map of the country had changed: the dismissal of the Bhutto government and the calling of national and provincial elections allowed the MQM(A) to re-emerge from hiding and campaign openly for the first time in several years (The News 9 Apr. 1997; The Economist 25 Jan. 1997; AFP 9 Jan. 1997; DPA 29 Jan. 1997; The News 5 Mar. 1997).

    As per a news article of UNITED NEWS OF INDIA ISLAMABAD, June 15: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has a bagful of secrets to tell the nation, but she would let it out only after celebrating the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence. She would like to tell how her Government was sacked by President Farooq Leghari, how her estranged brother Mir Murtaza was killed and about the role of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the country. But only after August 14, Pakistan’s independence day.

    As per a news article of UNITED NEWS OF INDIA ISLAMABAD, June 15: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has a bagful of secrets to tell the nation, but she would let it out only after celebrating the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence. She would like to tell how her Government was sacked by President Farooq Leghari, how her estranged brother Mir Murtaza was killed and about the role of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the country. But only after August 14, Pakistan’s independence day.

    Bhutto, who made the promise in an interview to the Pakistan Times of Lahore, disclosed that she had intended to make Aftab Sherpao the President, but ISI chief Gen Javed Ashraf Qazi told her to make Leghari instead.

    Accordingly, Leghari was elected President. (Sherpao was rewarded the post of the Chief Minister of the North-West Frontier Province after Leghari sacked the Muslim League incumbent.)

    She said the ISI was under the Prime Minister for mere namesake. The Prime Minister was not in a position to sack anyone in the agency even if he or she knew that it was hatching a conspiracy against the Premier, Bhutto said.After Leghari was elected the President, she started getting reports that he was planning to remove her. When confronted with such reports, he always denied them. But after August 13, 1996, his hostility became transparent, she said.Though the Intelligence Bureau is under the control of the Prime Minister, it could not be used for spying on the President. Declining comment on Murtaza’s murder, she said she would disclose some facts after August 14. Bhutto had alleged before the three-man tribunal which inquired into the murder that President Leghari was behind it. But the tribunal, in its report on Monday last exonerated the President.

    Copyright © 1997 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

  • I cannot agree more with Sarah Khan and Ali Abbas; would like to add:
    Fatima is blinded by and unable to rise above her personal tragedy. She betrays the very spirit and tenacity to challenge dictators that has been the hallmark of the Bhutto name. Her only contribution to Pakistan’s politics has been a handful of racy articles and excessive vitriol and hatred she specially reserves against the mainstream PPP that won majority electorate votes twice in 2002 and 2008 since the tragic murder of Murtaza 14 years ago. The party she blames for every sin under the sun has formed a coalition government only in April 2008 and the person she accuses to have plotted her father’s murder, current president Zardari, was himself behind the bars when that murder took place, but still elected head of the state by a thumping two-thirds majority in Sep 2008. I ask:

    Why didn’t she, Fatima Bhutto, step-daughter of Ghinwa, pursue the case her father’s murder during the combined 12 years of Nawaz Sharif II and Musharraf governments like a dutiful real daughter? She is only mimicking and reminds me of Ejazul Haque. This son of military dictator Gen Zia, who died in a plane crash in 1988, has since been raising the bogey of her father’s alleged murder only in the two brief stints of Benazir governments while conveniently forgetting the same accident for almost two decades during which he himself has been part of many quasi-democratic regimes.

    I am afraid Fatima may already be too old for a Bhutto to make any significant mark in Pakistan’s politics.

  • In my words Fatima,

    Try to bring some solution to your country and make your country people to understand the way of living a life with much practicality. In the international world, Pakistan and Afghanistan are called as failed states, but this has to change a lot .

    Power is not the only solution for everything. Constant updation and understanding of what is happening in the world and understanding and providing the necessary solutions for each and every problem faced by the human society is that which makes a right person and not just by the BOOKS.

    By saying this you can understand by yourself that POWER is just nothing more than dust and rubbish. Try to combat and prove……

    So try to take this as a SUGGESTION made to you and not ADVICE. I do not advice anybody. It is not my habit.

    All I would say is that have a clear understanding of providing solutions and that will very much bring you to the level of highest priority.

    Best Wishes.

    SUNDARARAJAN RS IYENGAR
    rssundarr@gmail.com
    +91-9952083459

  • Aakar Patel writes in The News, 11 April 2010:

    The book is black, with writing in red that advertises its author as: ‘Granddaughter to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, executed 1979; niece to Shahnawaz Bhutto, murdered 1985; daughter of Mir Murtaza Bhutto, assassinated 1996; niece of Benazir Bhutto, assassinated 2007’. What was the need to make it so sensational, she was asked.

    Fatima admitted the cover was disturbing, and added she had to live with not just the cover but the facts on the cover. I thought it was an excellent answer. Other questions she was asked were on dynasty and politics; on her father’s terror group Al Zulfikar; and on Benazir choosing to wear a dupatta over her head (which Fatima thinks is a sign of her hypocrisy).

    As a writer, Fatima is quite good and her book is a very easy read despite its heavy material. She can nail a person with a couple of lines. She tells us Benazir had her 70, Clifton bedroom painted black and its shelves were full of Mills and Boon romances.

    She disliked her aunt, because Benazir robbed Murtaza of his inheritance, but there are lines through which Fatima also associates with Benzair. One is about Fatima keeping a bottle of her father’s perfume, Shalimar. Benazir also writes about Shalimar in Daughter of the East, because it was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s favourite perfume too. It is strange that the Bhutto men should have used it, because Shalimar, made by the French firm Guerlain, is a perfume for women.

    As the writer Nadeem F Paracha has noted, Fatima’s book is quite partisan. She makes her father out to be perfect, which he may not have been. She alludes to conspiracies against him, writing that Murtaza’s friend Suhail Sethi and his college friends in America appear to know some secrets about people wishing to harm him. Fatima says they hint at dark things, but choose not to tell her. But the impression a reader might get is that nothing happened.

    She speaks of “they” trying to get the Bhuttos, but we do not know whom she means. She says Benazir created a “saprophytic culture”. That means feeding off the dead. But Fatima makes much of the fact that she and her brother Zulfi are the only living Bhuttos, which is also living off the name. She delegitimises Benazir’s inheritance, by alluding to her being a Zardari. But it is a fact that after Zulfikar Ali Bhutto died, his charisma transferred to his daughter and not his sons. It struck me a couple of days after reading the book that I had not come across a mention of her cousin Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the PPP’s co-chairman and Benazir’s son. I went back to the book’s index to check, and he’s been excluded.

    http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=233721

    Here is Nadeem Paracha’s article on Murtaza Bhutto and Fatima Bhutto:

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/9299

  • From Tarek Fatah’s facebook:

    Tarek Fatah believes, this article deconstructing Fatima Bhutto is spot on in telling her, “You are lying, Fatima”

    Deconstructing Fatima Bhutto: “You are lying, Fatima”
    criticalppp.com

    Contrary to the right wing propaganda that the PPP is a party of Bhutto worshippers, the party and its workers have on several occasions proven that they do

    April 3 at 6:16am · Comment · Like

    Saqib and Saad like this.

    Layla Revis
    Well, this is my question… who are you going to believe? Someone who was related to the woman or another journalist? I also don’t buy the reasoning that the PPP’s choice of non-Bhuttos running the party – as if to make the point that they don’t always choose Bhuttos. That’s an extremely weak argument considering they were married to Bhuttos, hence related. It’s still a hereditary dynasty just as the monarchies in Europe.
    April 3 at 8:23am

    Saad Mansoor
    Its still a hereditary because all the top notch who were not related to Bhutto did not pick up the standard when he was imprisoned. It was his daughter and wife who fought.

    No one else has stopped others from fighting for the democratic rule, so if non-Bhutto do not do it they do not have the right to complain.

    As our democracy matures, the hereditary structure of the party will wither away. There are only as many family members.
    April 3 at 9:51am

  • Fatima’s attempt at setting the record straight regarding her father is understandable, but her deriding the woman who led her party into power not through the bullet but by the ballot is not.

    Nadeem Paracha’s article: Dad who would be king
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/9402

  • Ms. Anjum Niaz often suffer with amnesia because in 2010 she has written that Murtaza and Shahnawaz used to fight with each other in France over money whereas in 2007 she had written something entirely different [sheer Intellectual Dishonesty]

    “QUOTE”

    Benazir showed respect when addressing her interior minister. She and the General Sahib liked to engage in intellectual dialogue. Unlike other cabinet ministers, I never saw Babar cringe before his young prime minister. He was in the centre of investigations when Benazirs two brothers were killed. I went to South of France when Shahnawaz died in July 1985. I know exactly what happened and who killed him.

    Why, then, has he not revealed the identity of Shahnawaz’s killers?

    Because I was advised not to go beyond the drawn line, he says. The substance that killed Shahnawaz was used by very few countries. The FBI and the French authorities investigated independently but kept their findings secret because of certain international sensitivities.

    Was dictator Zia behind the act? Perhaps he wanted the Bhuttos wiped out altogether?

    How ironical that 22 years down the road, ZAB’s daughter Benazir should wag a finger at Zia’s remnants who tried killing her in the early hours of October 19! When Ejazul Haq was asked whether he was a suspect in the eyes of Benazir, he merely grinned (just the way his dad used to) and dismissed the allegation as a farce.

    Whodunnit? By Anjum Niaz October 28, 2007 [Dawn Magazine]

    “UNQUOTE”

    Whodunnit? By Anjum Niaz October 28, 2007

    http://www.dawn.com/weekly/dmag/dmag16.htm

    Whizzing past his 80th milestone, men like Naseerullah Babar are a vanishing breed: a compost of truth mixed with seasoned intelligence gathering that connects the dots. When General (retd) Naseerullah Babar leaves the world as we all mortals must, unrevealed intelligence will perish with him. As one whose loyalties are locked in with the Bhutto family, this old PPP guard has watched his revered leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto hanged and his two sons murdered spawning 30 years of chilling intrigue and international espionage. He knows who killed them and the motive behind, but his lips are sealed.

    Now he worries for the daughter. Trying to pre-empt a violent end for Benazir Bhutto, has seen giving broad hints to whosoever asks: go look for the telltale signs that lead to her would-be assassins, he says. Given to television appearances, he speaks loud and clear unlike most mumblers whose words sound like ciphers.

    She is a very brave girl who has lost her father and two brothers.

    Babar is trying to reach her but she is unavailable for him, or was until the last time I spoke with the retired major general who now lives in Peshawar. I tried contacting the Mohtarma but couldn’t get her, so I’ve sent a message through Farhatullah Babar, says the man who served BB during her two terms as a special adviser and later her interior minister.

    If I were BB, I’d listen to the grand old man. He seeks no baksheesh or a job to jockey for. Unlike her tribe of corrupt pelf-seekers mining a fortune during her two terms, Naseerullah Babar is solid as a rock and unbending as the army baton that he always carries tucked under his arm.

    Why did he leave Benazir Bhutto? It’s a personal issue, pat comes the general’s response. But we all know that Benazir’s deal with Musharraf was the breaking point. Babar could not bear the thought of his leader sitting with men like Aftab Khan Sherpao and Farooq Leghari after the way they stabbed her in the back.

    Whizzing past his 80th milestone, men like Babar are a vanishing breed. A compost of truth mixed with seasoned intelligence gathering that connects the dots. He takes a principled stand where the lily livered would capitulate. Such men need to be lionised. Sadly, Benazir has opted for Rehman Malik, the former FIA chief who reported to General Babar when the latter was the interior minister. Malik rose to dizzying heights from a lowly grade 13 or 14 officer. Stories of Malik trying to worm his way through by bribing his seniors are still fresh in our minds. Come promotion time, he’d turn up at their homes with trays laden with designer suits. By golly, it worked! Today, he is Benazir’s confidant-in- chief and sticks close to her. The first face we saw after Benazir descended the airplane sporting baby pink tie and kerchief and waving to the crowds with a cheesy smile was Rehman Malik.

    Nor is Naseerullah Babar anything like Mustafa Khar, the unctuous fast-talking opportunist. On July 5, 1977, Khar changed camps and went over to General Chisti for his reprieve while Mr Bhutto was arrested and taken to Murree remembers Babar.

    At my age it’s not appropriate to compromise with the military and seek a PPP ticket for the 2008 elections. But my loyalty to the PPP will remain grounded. It’s my national duty he tells me when I ask him whether he would like to serve BB again.

    Benazir showed respect when addressing her interior minister. She and the General Sahib liked to engage in intellectual dialogue. Unlike other cabinet ministers, I never saw Babar cringe before his young prime minister. He was in the centre of investigations when Benazirs two brothers were killed. I went to South of France when Shahnawaz died in July 1985. I know exactly what happened and who killed him.

    Why, then, has he not revealed the identity of Shahnawaz’s killers?

    Because I was advised not to go beyond the drawn line, he says. The substance that killed Shahnawaz was used by very few countries. The FBI and the French authorities investigated independently but kept their findings secret because of certain international sensitivities.

    Was dictator Zia behind the act? Perhaps he wanted the Bhuttos wiped out altogether?

    How ironical that 22 years down the road, ZAB’s daughter Benazir should wag a finger at Zia’s remnants who tried killing her in the early hours of October 19! When Ejazul Haq was asked whether he was a suspect in the eyes of Benazir, he merely grinned (just the way his dad used to) and dismissed the allegation as a farce.

    Street lights once again are at the heart of murder and darkness. Remember the street lights in front of 70 Clifton were switched off when Murtaza Bhutto was ruthlessly gunned down? Who was the prime minster then? None other than his sister. Irony of ironies that today she should be talking of the street lights being turned off as the sun set on Drigh Road, now called Shahra-e-Faisal.

    Naseerullah Babar was the interior minister. I know the people who had him bumped off. They dismissed the sister two weeks later because they wanted to seize power and heap all the blame on her for his death.

    Was it the civil and military clique — the Zia remnants that Benazir Bhutto keeps drumming up?

    The current provincial home secretary is a retired brigadier. He is a tradesman, not a terrorism expert says Gen (retd) Babar. The MQM backed security adviser Wasim Akhtar also does not get Babar’s vote of confidence. Every time there’s an attack, the government stonewalls it as a suicide attack and presents the nation with the head of the bomber, says Babar. The head is like massaging the story to throw everyone off the scent.

    His patience with gauche intellectual weightlessness and conspiracy theories of our rulers is wearing thin.

    When General Asif Nawaz died, Nawaz Sharif got blamed for poisoning him to death. General Babar, who was in the government then, sent the hair samples of the deceased army chief to France and Russia. The final verdict: it was not poison but a heart attack that killed the handsome general. I had the moral courage to tell the nation and absolve Nawaz Sharif of the crime, says Babar.

    Today the blatherskites muddy the picture. Unless our people get wiser and braver God will continue to give them cowardly leaders like the present lot. Babar’s harshest barbs are reserved for General Musharraf which he has freely shared on national television.

    I have seen General Musharraf in action during the 1965 and 1971 wars. I watched him from close quarters. To me he came across as a coward; corrupt; and a man of mediocre intelligence, says Babar, the soldier who won the highest award in courage.

    During the 1965 war, Babar single-handedly captured an entire Indian company of soldiers (over 70 POWs) and was awarded the Sitara-i-Jurat. In the 1971 war, he commanded an artillery brigade and fought like a tiger on the battlefield getting badly wounded. He was decorated with the Hilal-i-Jurat.

    The decorated war hero famously threw his awards at the military tribunal that sent ZAB to the gallows.

    Who can then blame Babar for voicing disappointment with Benazir kowtowing with Musharraf and his army today? I’ d rather go and play a game of golf, meet with my friends, attend family functions and go grocery shopping than walk in the corridors of power, says the man who has not allowed age to interfere with his elan for life. His secret for a long healthy life?

    I go to bed early and am an eternal optimist. We will come out of our current political crisis with flying colours.

    Bravo! Encore!

  • Comment from The Independent website:

    Hypocrite!
    ravezjunejo http://ravezjunejo.livejournal.com/ wrote:
    Saturday, 24 April 2010 at 04:25 pm (UTC)
    Ever since Fatima’s father was murdered in 1996, in the last days of the second and last premiership of Benazir Bhutto, Fatima and her Arab step-mother (her father’s second wife) have been accusing BB and her husband (then a federal minister in his wife’s cabinet) of having orchestrated that murder. Fatima and her mother spread rumours in Pakistan that her paternal grandmother was being drugged in captivity by Benazir to prevent her from joining with her grand neice when in reality Nusrat Bhutto suffered from Alzhiemers and had lost her memory as a result of a head injury she received in the 80’s when she was baton-charged in a political rally along with her daughter Benazir.

    Years later, in 2007, BB was returning to Pakistan after a decade long exile. The whole nation was exulting in the joy and happiness of having her among us once again. On October 18, Karachi, a city of almost two million, was choke full of Pakistanis from all the four provinces of Pakistan and from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir who had converged in this port city of Sindh to welcome BB back to Pakistan. At that time, instead of gracefully maintaining their silence at the jubilation surrounding the return of their enemy, Fatima and Co. were finding common cause with the dictatorial government of Pervez Musharraf. The next day, along with news of the terrorist attack that killed 150 BB supporters, newspapers published a picture of Fatima’s step-mom in a meeting with Sindh’s Chief Minister who was a Musharraf appointee and a zealot who had publicly criticised female heads of state as being a curse upon the land they rule. In later days, Fatima herself would jump in the fray and criticise her aunt, not the terrorists, for the carnage because she had refused to cancel her triumphant welcome rally and had driven through Karachi’s streets thereby placing her supporters in a dangerous situation for her “political show”.

    Then came December 27. BB herself was assasinated and the shouts of joy turned into wails of mourning. Riots broke out throughout Pakistan and were particularly brutal in her home province of Sindh. In that wave of public anger and grieving came a tribute in a national newspaper to BB by none other than Fatima Bhutto! In this obituary, and in a rather pathetic and hypocritical turn of opinion. she wrote off all her allegations and mud slinging on her aunt as “just politics”! Her sugar-and-honey tone towards her aunt was a stark contrast to the acidity she displayed towards BB all her life.
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=11951

    As if this had been some failed attempt to find entry into the mainstream PPP that BB led, or as a reaction to the popular swell of anger and grief at her assasination that had failed to net her any mention, she changed course once again and wrote another negative article, this time on BB’s family, her supporters and her tomb in Pakistan.
    http://www.newstatesman.com/asia/2009/01/benazir-bhutto-pakistan-legacy

    Those who have been following the speeches and writings of Fatima Bhutto know of her constant references to not being anyone’s puppet and being a self-made person who doesn’t use her family name, or her lineage, as a political or professional (she considers herself a journalist) crutch. All those people would be rather amused, I imagine, at a chance perusal of her latest book’s cover. A woman who has bragged all her life of her individuality and distaste of inherited importance had sprayed the names of her entire political lineage, even her aunt Benazir, on the cover of her book! That’s one way to sell the book.

    It would be an exaggeration to call that teen angst diary a book. Her third work has been criticised for it’s childish hatred of BB, the complete white-washing of her father’s terrorist past and her ignorance of her own father’s surviving aides and comrades who fail to find a mention of themselves in this convoluted biography of their leader Murtaza Bhutto. Prominent among the critics are Pakistan’s pop culture historian Nadeem Paracha:
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/9402

    As well as one of Fatima’s uncles Tariq Islam:
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/9892

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/songs-of-blood-and-sword-by-fatima-bhutto-1945756.html

  • Instead of being offended by many of the author’s unusual assertions, you have to understand her sociology. If you are still clueless, then I request you to read the part (in Fatima Bhutto’s book) where Fowzia, the woman Fatima insists on calling her biological mother, tries to meet her at school. You realise what hell as a child she must have been through. We all are products of our upbringing and there are strong indications that she also internalised all the major biases offered to her without much hesitation.

    The most important undertone of the work is, however, focused on Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. This could have been a biography of the author or her father but it is not. Despite painting Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto as a loving aunt who did not mind even when, during a state dinner and discussions with Hafez al Assad, Fatima climbed into the lap of the then prime minister, it is partly sad and partly disgusting to then realise that, in her world, Benazir is blamed for every evil. Why would that be? Perhaps, again, the biases of her parents. While she is not a creature of such prejudices, she does not realise that her elders were indeed victims of an old belief, that it is only the male heir who carries the mission of the father forward. Benazir being more successful must have annoyed her father. The reason why she opposed his return, while misconstrued, could actually be that she wanted him to be safe. Another reason might be, for which I will need to quote from the Harry Potter series: “Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.” Mir Murtaza never understood it, but Benazir’s way was the only way and democracy the only revenge possible. And he was given to certain racial myths, which never had space for his brother-in-law.

    The gift of our establishment at discord and divisiveness is eerie. Zulfikar Bhutto’s family was ripped apart and, one by one, all but one were killed. And see the sad part. For every death, one of the family members was blamed. The elder Bhutto brought it on himself, Shahnawaz was killed by his wife, nay perhaps at his own sister’s instigation if Fatima is to be believed, Murtaza again was killed and his sister and brother-in-law blamed. Before the UN report, a sad attempt was made to even implicate Benazir’s husband for her murder through word of mouth and sleazy propaganda. Thanks to the UN report, this propaganda is cancelled out. But while this book will perhaps be used to muddy the image of conceivably the greatest martyr of the Bhutto dynasty, Fatima’s pain will surely be felt for ages. We can only hope that she will move on in her life, rise above prejudices that were forced on her, and find the happiness that she deserves.

    Farrukh Pitafi

    http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20104\29\story_29-4-2010_pg3_5

  • Fatima Bhutto’s book : Fact or Fiction? – by Ayesha Siddiqa
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/10294

    Sanam Bhutto’s rebuttal to Fatima Bhutto’s book
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/10199

    ZAB’s nephew challenges Fatima Bhutto’s version
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/9892

    Fatima Bhutto: Dad who would be king – by Nadeem Paracha
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/9402

    Al-Zulfikar: The unsaid history – by Nadeem Paracha
    http://criticalppp.com/archives/9299

  • اپنے ہی خون کے خلاف بغاوت ….عظیم دولتانہ

    ذوالفقارعلی بھٹو کی شخصیت ، نظریات اور خدمات نے وطن عزیز کی سیاست پر جو اثرات مرتب کئے ہیں ان کی گہرائی، وسعت اور حقانیت پر وقت اپنی مہر تصدیق ثبت کرچکا ہے۔ اس دانشور انقلابی لیڈر نے تاریخ کی بجائے آمر کے ہاتھوں جام شہادت نوش کرنے کا جو عزم کیا تھا، وہ 4/اپریل 1979ء کی صبح کاذب کے سوگوار لمحات میں راولپنڈی جیل میں پورا ہوا۔ یہ سانحہ گزرے 30سال کاعرصہ بیت چکا لیکن سیاسی ، صحافتی اور عوامی حلقوں میں اب تک ان واقعات کی بازگشت سنائی دیتی ہے۔ جن کا تعلق کسی نہ کسی طور پر بھٹو صاحب کے ایام اسیری سے ہے۔ ان واقعات کی تفصیلات اور تذکرہ گاہے افسانہ یاکسی جاسوسی ناول کا باب محسوس ہوتے ہیں البتہ ان واقعات میں ایک قدر مشترک یہ ہے کہ بھٹو صاحب نے اپنی رہائی یا جان بخشی کے لئے کوئی سازش یا سمجھوتہ نہیں کیا۔ وہ آخری دم تک استقامت ، جرأت اورحوصلہ مندی کی جیتی جاگتی تصویر بنے رہے اور اس امر واقعہ کی گواہی خود ان حضرات کی جانب سے آتی رہتی ہے جنہوں نے بھٹو صاحب کو موت کی کال کوٹھڑی کے اندر اور تختہ دار پربچشم خود دیکھا۔ اگرچہ آمر کے مرغ دست آموز اس گمراہ کن اور زہریلے پروپیگنڈہ کا طرح مصرع اٹھاتے رہے کہ بھٹو صاحب زندگی کے آخری دنوں میں حالات سے مایوس ہوگئے تھے اور وہ جیل کے عملہ سے بدسلوکی کا مظاہرہ کرتے تھے لیکن کسی صاحب الرائے ، باخبر اور معتبر شخصیت نے اس طرح مصرع پر حمایت کی گرہ نہیں لگائی۔ موت کی کال کوٹھڑی میں بھٹو صاحب نے محض اپنے حافظہ اور یادداشت پر انحصار کرتے ہوئے ایک کتاب IF I AM ASSASSINATEDتحریر کی۔ اس کے علاوہ اپنے بچوں اورقریبی دوستوں کو خطوط لکھے اور اپنے وکلاء سے مشاورت کی۔ان سب کا مطالعہ اور تجزیہ ثابت کرتا ہے کہ وہ اپنی آخری سانس تک اعصابی اور ذہنی طور پر کس قدر توانا اورمضبوط رہے۔ ان کی سوچ کس قدر مثبت رہی اور وہ اپنی جان کی بجائے پاکستان اور عوام کے بارے میں کس قدر فکرمند رہے۔
    بھٹو صاحب کے بعد ان کی بیگم نصرت بھٹو اورخاص طور پر ان کی ذہین و فطین دختر محترمہ بے نظیربھٹو نے بھٹو کے سیاسی ورثے کو سنبھالنے اور ان کے مشن کو آگے بڑھانے کے لئے جو قربانیاں دیں اور جس حسن تدبر کا مظاہرہ کیا ، اس سے بھی بھلا کون واقف نہیں۔ انہوں نے آمریت کے خلاف جدوجہد ، جمہوریت کی بحالی اور عوام کے حقوق کی بازیابی کے لئے اپنی زندگی وقف کردی اور اگر یہ کہا جائے تو غلط نہ ہوگا کہ ان کے ایثار اور فہم و فراست کے ثمرات سے اہل وطن آج بھی مستفید ہورہے ہیں ۔ آج وطن عزیز میں عدلیہ اورمیڈیا آزاد ہیں، پارلیمان کی بالادستی قائم ہوگئی ہے۔ عوامی حکومت عوام کو درپیش مسائل کو حل کرنے کے لئے میسر وسائل بروئے کار لارہی ہے، قومی سیاست میں مفاہمت اور یکجہتی کی خوشگوار فضا موجود ہے، عالمی برادری میں عوامی حکومت کی کارکردگی کو تحسین کی نگاہ سے دیکھا جاتا ہے اور ریاستی ادارے اپنے اپنے دائرہ کار کے اندر رہتے ہوئے نہایت تسلی بخش انداز میں مصروف کار ہیں۔
    ایسے میں ذوالفقار علی بھٹو کی پوتی اور میرمرتضیٰ بھٹو کی صاحبزادی فاطمہ بھٹو نے اپنی کتاب SONGS OF BLOOD AND SEORD کے بعض مندرجات سے نہ صرف بھٹو خاندان کے مداحوں اور پارٹی کارکنوں کو انگشت بہ دنداں کردیا ہے بلکہ دنیا بھر کے ان مبصرین کو بھی ورطہ حیرت میں ڈال دیاہے جو قومی اور بین الاقوامی سیاسی تناظر میں بھٹوز کے کردار اور مقام پر گہری نگاہ رکھتے ہیں۔ اپنی کتاب میں فاطمہ بھٹو نے یہ سنسنی خیز انکشاف کیا ہے کہ ذوالفقار علی بھٹو نے موت کی کال کوٹھڑی سے اپنے بیٹوں (فاطمہ بھٹو کے والد) میر مرتضیٰ بھٹو اور میرشاہنواز بھٹو کو یہ پیغام بھیجا تھا کہ وہ دونوں افغانستان جاکر دہشت گردی کا سیل قائم کریں جس کے ذریعے ضیاء الحق کی حکومت کے خلاف جنگ کاآغاز کیاجائے۔ کتاب کے منظرعام پرآنے کے بعد پہلے تو بھٹو خاندان کے ایک اہم فرد طارق اسلام نے اس واقعے کی پرزور الفاظ میں تردید کی اور بعدازاں ذوالفقارعلی بھٹو کی صاحبزادی صنم بھٹو نے اس کو من گھڑت اورگمراہ کن قراردیا۔
    طارق اسلام نے ایک انگریزی اخبار میں شائع ہونے والے اپنے مراسلہ میں وضاحت کرتے ہوئے لکھا ہے کہ 27/مارچ 1979ء کی ملاقات میں انہوں نے میرمرتضیٰ بھٹو کا یہ پیغام بھٹو صاحب کو پہنچایا کہ وہ بھٹو صاحب کی جان بچانے کے لئے گوریلا جنگ شروع کرنے کا ارادہ رکھتے ہیں۔ بھٹو صاحب کو یہ بھی بتایا گیا کہ فلسطینی لیڈر یاسر عرفان نے اپنے ” وسائل“ بروئے کارلاتے ہوئے بھٹو صاحب کو راولپنڈی جیل سے باہر نکالنے کاعندیہ دیاہے۔ اس پربھٹو صاحب نے طارق اسلام کو کہا ” میرمرتضیٰ کو میری طرف سے یہ پوچھو کہ ” کیا میں نے اس کو ایسی ہی تعلیم حاصل کرنے کے لئے آکسفورڈ بھیجا تھا؟“ سابق رکن قومی اسمبلی اور محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹو کی قریبی دوست آمنہ پراچہ کی موجودگی میں یہ جواب میرمرتضیٰ بھٹو کو پہنچایا گیا تو انہوں نے اصرارکیا کہ ایک بار پھرکوشش کی جائے۔ اس پرطارق اسلام نے 30/مارچ کو دوبارہ بھٹو صاحب سے ملاقات کی اور میر مرتضیٰ کا پیغام پہنچایا جس پر بھٹو صاحب نے خفگی کا اظہارکرتے ہوئے کہا ” مجھے ایسا محسوس ہوتا ہے کہ میر (مرتضیٰ) کسی بڑی مصیبت میں پھنس گیا ہے۔ اس نے افغانیوں سے کوئی اقرار کرلیا ہے اور اب وہ اس چکر سے باہرنہیں نکل سکتا۔ اس سے کہہ دوکہ جو اس کاجی چاہے کرے لیکن میں اس (دہشت گردی اورگوریلا جنگ) سے خوش نہیں ہوں  میں نے اس کوخدا کے سپرد کیا مگر اس کو بتاؤ کہ وہ آکسفورڈ جاکر اپنی تعلیم مکمل کرے“۔ بقول طارق اسلام ”بھٹو صاحب کا موٴقف تھا کہ آمرضیاء الحق نے مجھے قاتل قراردیا، میری کتاب IF I AM ASSASSINATEDکامسودہ جیل سے باہربھجوانے پر اسمگلر قراردیا اور اب اگر میر (مرتضیٰ) نے وہ قدم اٹھایا جو وہ اٹھانا چاہتا ہے تو ضیاء الحق مجھے (بھٹو صاحب کو) دہشت گرد بھی قرار دے گا۔
    فاطمہ بھٹو کی کتاب کے مندرجات نے صنم بھٹو کو بھی مجبورکردیا کہ وہ ان کانوٹس لیں۔ ایک انگریزی اخبار کے نام صنم بھٹو کا یہ مراسلہ نہایت فکر انگیز اور چشم کشا ہے جس میں وہ لکھتی ہیں ” میرے والد نے کبھی اپنے بیٹوں اوربیٹیوں کو جہاز اغواء کرنے یا مسافروں کو قتل کرنے کے لئے دہشت گرد سیل قائم کرنے یا کوئی اور پرتشدد راستہ اختیار کرنے کی تلقین نہیں کی تھی۔ میرے بھائیوں اورمیری بہن (بے نظیر بھٹو) نے اپنے اپنے راستے منتخب کئے مگر اس ضمن میں میرے والدین کی خواہشات بالکل واضح اور عیاں تھیں“۔ فاطمہ بھٹو کی طرف سے اپنی پھوپھی ( بے نظیربھٹو ) کی مخالفت کے تناظر میں صنم بھٹو لکھتی ہیں “ میری بہن  بے نظیر بھٹو ہمیشہ کہاکرتی تھی کہ فاطمہ بھٹو ہمارے خلاف جو کچھ بھی کرتی اور لکھتی ہے ہمیں اس کے لئے اس کو مورد الزام نہیں ٹھہرانا چاہئے ۔ اس بچی کو الزام مت دو بلکہ ان (عناصر) کو الزام دو جنہوں نے اس کے دل و دماغ میں زہر بھردیا ہے“۔

    صنم بھٹو مزید لکھتی ہیں ” اب فاطمہ بھٹو کوئی بچی نہیں رہی
     اب وہ ایک پختہ عمر عورت ہے اور کسی نہ کسی مرحلہ پرتو ہمیں اپنے اعمال اور انداز عمل کیلئے جوابدہ ہونا پڑتا ہے۔ اس (فاطمہ بھٹو) کی کتاب میرے خاندان
     حقائق اور سب سے بڑھ کر سچائی پرایک حملہ ہے“۔

    Azim Doltana
    Jang, 5 May 2010
    http://search.jang.com.pk/details.asp?nid=430254

  • فاطمہ بھٹو کا انتقام

    رفاقت علی
    بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، لندن

    کیا ’لہو اور تلوار کے گیت‘ کیا بھٹو خاندان کی تاریخ کے بارے میں ایک معتبر تحریر ثابت ہو سکتی ہے؟

    کہتے ہیں کہ کچھ کتابیں ایسی ہوتی ہیں جنہیں نظر سے گزرانا ہی کافی ہوتا ہے لیکن بعض ایسی جنہیں نہ صرف نگل جانا چاہیے بلکہ انہیں ہضم کرنے کی کوشش بھی کرنی چاہیے۔

    بھٹو خاندان کی چشم و چراغ فاطمہ بھٹو نے بھی ایک ایسی کتاب لکھی ہے جسےآپ شاید نگل تو جائیں لیکن اسے ہضم کرنا اگر ناممکن نہیں تو انتہائی مشکل ضرور ہے۔

    ’سانگز آف بلڈ اینڈ سورڈ یا ’لہو اور تلوار کے گیت‘ کئی ممالک میں ہاتھوں ہاتھ بک رہی ہے اور شاید بیسٹ سیلر بھی بن جائے لیکن کیا وہ بھٹو خاندان کی تاریخ کے بارے میں ایک معتبر تحریر ثابت ہو سکتی ہے۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو نے اپنی اس کتاب میں اپنے والد مرتضیٰ بھٹو کی سوانح عمری لکھنے کی کوشش کی ہے اور ان پر لگے دہشتگردی کے الزام سے انہیں بری الذمہ کرانے اور انہیں اس راہ پر دھکیلنے والے خاندانی حالات کا تفصیلاً ذکر کیا ہے۔

    کتاب کے آغاز سے لے کر آخر تک جس استقامت سے بینظیر بھٹو کو ایک چال باز اور گھناونی شخصیت ثابت کرنے کی جو کوشش کی ہے وہ شاید کسی غیر ملکی قاری کو تو قائل کر لے لیکن وہ شاید ہی کسی پاکستانی کو قائل کر سکے گی۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو چودہ برس کی تھیں جب بینظیر بھٹو کے دور حکومت میں ان کے والد کو کراچی میں ان کے گھر کے باہر پولیس نے ہلاک کر دیا۔ فاطمہ بھٹو کا الزام ہے کہ ان کے والد کے قتل کا مقصد دراصل بھٹو خاندان کے اصلی جانیشن کو راہ سے ہٹانا تھا۔

    فاطمہ لکھتی ہیں کہ ان کی پھوپھی بینظیر بھٹو جسےوہ’وڈی بوا’ کہتی ہیں، بچپن سے ہی ان کے والد میر مرتضیٰ پر غلبہ پانے کی کوشش کرتی رہتی تھیں اور بھٹو خاندان کی سیاسی وارث بننے کی کوشش کرتی رہیں۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو اپنی’وڈی بوا‘ کی مخالفت میں اتنی آگے چلی گئی ہیں کہ انہوں نے کتاب کا آغاز ہی پیپلز پارٹی کی حکومت کی چند ایک کامیابیوں میں سے ایک پر تنقید سے شروع کیا۔ وہ لکھتی ہیں کہ پیپلز پارٹی کی حکومت نے کراچی میں ’آپریشن کلین اپ’ کے نام پر قتل عام کیا۔

    آصف زرداری کی’ کرپشن’ ان کا انفرادی فعل نہیں ہے

    فاطمہ بھٹو اپنے والد کی ہلاکت کے واقع کو شروع کرنے سے پہلے یہ ثابت کرنے کی کوشش کرتی ہیں کہ وہ بطور ’ممبر پارلیمنٹ’ حق رکھتے تھے کہ وہ جب چاہیں کسی بھی تھانے میں نمودار ہو کر وہاں مقید لوگوں کو رہا کرا سکیں۔ مرتضیٰ بھٹو لاڑکانہ سے صوبائی اسمبلی کے ممبر تھے لیکن فاطمہ بھٹو انہیں ممبر پارلیمنٹ لکھنے پر بضد ہیں۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو نہ چاہتے ہوئے بھی تاثر پیدا کر رہی ہیں کہ مرتضیٰ بھٹو اپنے باڈی گارڈوں کی فوج کے ہمراہ کراچی شہر میں دندناتے پھرتے تھے۔حکومتِ وقت کا بھی یہی موقف تھا کہ سکیورٹی اداروں نے مرتضی بھٹو کو ان کے باڈی گارڈوں کےحصار سے نکالنے کی کوشش کی تھی۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو لکھتی ہیں کہ انہیں اپنے والد کی موت کی خبر کی تصدیق پرائم منسٹر ہاؤس سے ہوئی جہاں نے انہوں نے اپنی پھوپھی کو فون کیا لیکن ان کے شوہر آصف زرداری نے یہ کہہ کر بینظیر بھٹو سے بات کرانے سے انکار کر دیا کہ وہ بھائی کی موت کا سن کر ہیجان کی کیفیت میں ہے۔

    اپنے خاندان کے بارے میں لکھتے ہوئے فاطمہ بھٹو لکھتی ہیں کہ ان کے دادا ذولفقار علی بھٹو جب بیرون ملک سے تعلیم حاصل کر کے پاکستان لوٹے تو انہیں ایک نئی دلہن کی سوجھی اور اسی دوران ان کی ملاقات ممبئی کےایک ایرانی نژاد صابن بیچنے والے ’صبونچیے‘ کی خوبصورت بیٹی نصرت سے ہوئی جس کی وساطت سے وہ سکندر مزرا تک پہنچ گئے اور پھر حکومت میں شامل ہوگئے۔

    کتاب کا ایک بڑا حصہ فاطمہ بھٹو نے اپنے والد کی گرل فرینڈ ڈیلا رونک پر صرف کر دیا ہے۔ مرتضیٰ بھٹو کو اپنے والد کی پھانسی کی خبر بھی اس وقت ملی جب وہ ڈیلا کے ہمراہ تھے۔
    فاطمہ بھٹو اپنی خاندانی جاگیر کا فخریہ انداز میں ذکر کرنے کے فوراً بعد معذرت خواہانہ رویہ اپنا کر یہ ثابت کرنے پر نکل پڑتی ہیں کہ ان کے والد مرتضیٰ بھٹو جاگیردارانہ سوچ نہیں رکھتے تھے کیونکہ ان کی پرورش لاڑکانہ میں نہیں بلکہ راولپنڈی میں ہوئی تھی۔

    ذوالفقار علی بھٹو کی پوتی اپنے باپ کو کچھ ایسے انداز میں پیش کرنے کی کوشش کرتی ہیں جسیے وہ بیسویں صدی کے چی گوریا تھے۔

    فاطمہ لکھتی ہیں کہ مرتضیٰ بھٹو اپنے والد ذوالفقار علی بھٹو کو رہا کرانے کے لیےلندن سے پرامن جہدوجہد کر رہے تھے کہ انہیں اچانک والد کی طرف سے ایک خط ملا جس میں انہیں ہدایت کی گئی کہ اگر انہیں ہلاک کر دیا گیا تو دونوں بھائی مسلح جہدوجہد شروع کر دیں۔ فاطمہ بھٹو کے بقول اس خط میں ذوالفقار علی بھٹو نے اپنے بیٹوں کو کہا کہ’اگر تم بھائیوں نے میرا بدلہ نہ لیا تو میں سمجھوں گا کہ تم میری اولاد ہی نہیں ہو‘۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو لکھتی ہیں کہہ انہوں نے یہ خط خود نہیں پڑھا اور نہ ہی ان کے والد نے ان کو اس بارے میں بتایا بلکہ انہیں اس خط کا علم اپنے والد کی یونانی گرل فرینڈ ڈیلا رونک سے ہوا۔

    کتاب کا ایک بڑا حصہ فاطمہ بھٹو نے اپنے والد کی گرل فرینڈ ڈیلا رونک پر صرف کر دیاہے۔ وہ لکھتی ہیں کہ ڈیلا یونانی جنرل روفوگالس کی بیوی تھی اور جنرل کی حراست کے دوران وہ مرتضی بھٹو کی دوست بن گئیں اور دوست بھی اتنی قریبی کے مرتضیٰ بھٹو ڈیلا کے بغیر نہیں رہ سکتے تھے۔ مرتضیٰ بھٹو کو اپنے والد کی پھانسی کی خبر بھی اس وقت ملی جب وہ ڈیلا کے ہمراہ تھے۔ فاطمہ بھٹو اپنی افغان ماں فوزیہ اور ان کی بہن ریحانہ سے اپنے باپ اور چچا شاہنواز کی دوستی کا بھی تفصیلی ذکر کرتی ہیں۔

    ’وڈی بوا’ نے میرے والد مرتضیٰ بھٹو کو فوج کےمشورے کے بعد جیل سے رہا کیا: فاطمہ بھٹو

    فاطمہ بھٹو نے اپنی پوری کتاب میں کسی ایک موقع پر بھی بینظیر بھٹو کی سیاسی جہدوجہد کی تعریف نہیں کی بلکہ لکھتی ہیں کہ جب بینظیر بھٹو نے 1988 میں وطن واپسی کا فیصلہ کیا تو اس وقت کے وزیر اعظم محمد خان جونیجو نے ضیا الحق کو یہ کہہ کر مطمئن کر دیا کہ وہ حکومت کے لیے نہیں بلکہ ایم آر ڈی کے لیے خطرہ ہوں گی۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو بتاتی ہیں کہ ان کے والد کو شام اور لبیا سے کتنے ہتھیار ملے اور ایک ایسا موقع بھی تھا کہ جب ان کے والد اسلحہ سے بھرا ہوا جہاز لے کر کابل پہنچے۔ وہ لکھتی ہیں کہ دبئی کے بادشاہ شیخ زید بن سلطان النہیان نے ان کے والد کو مسلح جدوجہد کرنے سے منع کیا اور صرف دس ہزار ڈالر کی امداد کی۔ فاطمہ لکھتی ہیں کہ ان کے والد شیخ زید بن سلطان کی رقم کو اپنے پاس نہیں رکھنا چاہتے تھے اسی لیے اس رقم سے اپنی گرل فرینڈ ڈیلا رونک کے لیے رولیکس گھڑی کا تحفہ خرید لیا۔

    الذولفقار نامی تنظیم کی طرف سے پی آئی اے کا طیارہ اغوا کرنے کے بارے میں کہتی ہیں کہ سلام اللہ ٹیپو ہمیشہ سے مشکوک تھے اور وہ اپنے چند ساتھیوں کے ہمراہ کابل میں الذولقفار کے تربیتی کیمپ میں مرتضیٰ بھٹو سے مل چکے تھے۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو لکھتی ہیں کہ سلام اللہ ٹیپو نے دو مرتبہ پی آئی اے کا طیارہ اغوا کرنے کی تجویز پیش کی لیکن ان کے والد نے ہر بار یہ تجویز مسترد کر دی۔ وہ کہتی ہیں کہ ان کے والد کو پی آئی اے کے طیارے کے اغوا کا پتہ اس وقت چلا جب انہیں کابل ہوائی اڈے کے ائر کنٹرول ٹریفک سے کال موصول ہوئی۔وہ لکھتی ہیں کہ طیارہ اغوا کرنے کا فیصلہ ان کے والد کا نہیں بلکہ سلام اللہ ٹیپو کا ذاتی تھا۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو طیارے کے اغوا سے پیدا ہونے والی مشکلات کا دوش بھی بینظیر بھٹو کو دیتی ہیں جس نے طیارے کے اغوا کی خبر پر خوشی کا اظہار کیا تھا اور کہا تھا کہ’ ہمارے لوگوں نے یہ کارنامہ کر دکھایا ہے۔‘۔ فاطمہ بھٹو لکھتی ہیں کہ انہوں نے جب بھی ’وڈی بوا‘ کے دوستوں سے طیارے کے اغوا کے بارے میں بات کرنے کی کوشش کی تو جواب ملا:’ نہیں نہیں بینظیر تو ہمیشہ پرامن سیاسی جہدوجہد پر یقین رکھتی تھیں۔‘ یہ بتائے بغیر کہ وہ بینظیر بھٹو کی کس دوست سے ملیں وہ اپنا فیصلہ صادر کرتی ہیں کہ وہ جھوٹ بولتے ہیں۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو کی بینظیر بھٹو سے نفرت اس وقت انتہا پر نظر آتی ہے جب وہ اپنے چچا شاہنواز بھٹو کی ہلاکت کا ذکر کرتی ہیں۔ وہ لکھتی ہیں کہ اس وقت ان کی عمر صرف تین برس تھی اور وہ دمشق سے اپنے والدین کے ہمراہ فرانس کے شہر نِس میں شاہنواز بھٹو کے ہاں ٹھہری ہوئی تھی۔ ذوالفقار علی بھٹو کو پھانسی پر چڑھائے جانے کے بعد سارا بھٹو خاندان فرانس میں اکھٹا ہوا تھا۔

    وہ لکھتی ہیں کہ جب بھٹو خاندان ساحل سمندر پر باربی کیو کے بعد رات گیارہ بجے فلیٹ پر پہنچا تو شاہنواز بھٹو اور ان کی افغان بیوی ریحانہ میں کشیدگی عروج کو پہنچ چکی تھی۔ ریحانہ کی ناراضی اتنی بڑھی کہ اس نے مرتضیٰ بھٹو اور اس کے خاندان کو فوراً فلیٹ سے نکل جانے کا مطالبہ کیا اور فلیٹ سے نکال کر دم لیا۔

    اسی رات شاہنواز بھٹو وفات پا گئے۔ فاطمہ بھٹو لکھتی ہیں کہ شاہنواز بھٹو کے پاس ایسی پینٹراکس زہر بھی موجود تھی جو انہیں مسلح جہدوجہد کی تربیت دینےوالوں نے دی تھی تاکہ وہ جنرل ضیاالحق کے چنگل میں جانے کی ذلت سے بچنے کے لیے خود کو ہلاک کر لیں۔

    لوگ جب مجھے کہتے ہیں کہ میری شکل بینظیر بھٹو سے ملتی ہے تو میرے پاس کچھ کہنے کو نہیں ہوتا: فاطمہ بھٹو

    فاطمہ لکھتی ہیں کہ جب وہ کتاب لکھ رہی تو وہ فرانس میں اس وکیل سے ملیں جس نے شاہنواز بھٹو کے قتل کا مقدمہ لڑا تھا۔ فاطمہ کہتی ہیں کہ اس وقت ان کا بدن کانپنے لگا جب اسی سالہ وکیل ژاک ورجس نے انہیں بتایا کہ بینظیر بھٹو نے شاہنواز بھٹو کے قتل کو دبانے کے لیے دباؤ ڈالا ورنہ میر مرتضیٰ اس کو سکینڈل بنانا چاہتے تھے۔ فاطمہ بھٹو کے خیال میں بینظیر بھٹو سی آئی اے اور پاکستانی اسٹیبلشمنٹ کو ناراض نہیں کرنا چاہتی تھیں۔

    وہ لکھتی ہیں کہ ان کے والد یہ ماننے کے لیے تیار نہیں تھے کہ شاہنواز بھٹو نے خود کشی کی ہے کیونکہ وہ ایک کامیاب، دلیر اور معاشی طور پر آسودہ شخص تھا۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو کا کہنا ہے کہ ان کے والد آصف زرداری کو ہمیشہ ’چور‘ کہتے تھے۔ وہ لکھتی ہیں کہ آصف علی زرداری نے میر مرتضیٰ بھٹو سے اپنی دوسری ملاقات کے دوران ان کو رشوت کی ترغیب دی اور کہا کہ وہ مشرقِ وسطیٰ میں ایک ’ڈیل‘ کر رہے ہیں اور اگر مرتضیٰ چاہیں تو وہ ان کو بھی حصہ دار بنا سکتے ہیں۔میرے باپ نے آصف زرداری کو جواب دیا’ زرداری بھٹو ایسا نہیں کرتے۔‘

    فاطمہ کا دعویٰ ہے کہ آصف علی زرداری کی کرپشن اس کا انفرادی فعل نہیں تھا بلکہ ان کی ’وڈی بوا‘ بھی مکمل شریک تھیں۔

    پیپلز پارٹی کے ایک سابق سیکرٹری جنرل ڈاکٹر غلام حسین کے حوالے سے لکھتی ہیں کہ جب انہوں نے بینظیر بھٹو کو آصف علی زرادی کی کرپشن کے بارے میں آگاہ کرنا چاہا تو جواب ملا ’ڈاکٹر صاحب ہمارا جن سے مقابلہ ہے ان کے پاس ٹنوں کے حساب سے پیسہ ہے‘۔ وہ لکھتی ہیں کہ بینظیر بھٹو شاید شریف خاندان کا مقابلہ کرنے کے لیے دولت اکٹھی کر رہی تھیں۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو کو یہ بھی شکایت ہے کہ جب ان کے والد نے شام سے واپس پاکستان آنے کا فیصلہ کیا تو صدر حافظ الاسد نے انہیں اپنے خصوصی طیارے کے ذریعے پاکستان بھیجنے کی پیشکش کی لیکن ان کی’ وڈی بوا‘ کی حکومت نے صدر اسد کے طیارے کو پاکستانی حدود میں داخل ہونے سے روک دیا۔

    فاطمہ بلاول بھٹو زرداری کا نام لینا بھی پسند نہیں کرتیں

    وہ لکھتی ہیں کہ جب ان کے والد واپس پاکستان پہنچ گئے اور انہیں تمام الزمات سے باعزت بری کر دیا گیا تب بھی ان کی پھوپھی انہیں جیل سے رہا نہیں کرنا چاہتی تھیں ۔ وہ کہتی ہیں کہ ان کے والد کو فوج کی طرف سے مرتضیٰ بھٹو کو ’ہیرو’ نہ بنانے کے مشورے پر رہا کیا گیا۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو جب اپنے باپ کی موت کا احوال بیان کرتی ہیں تو اس وقت ان کا انداز بیان زوردار اور جذباتی ہو جاتا ہے اور وہ بتاتی ہیں کہ ستر کلفٹن کے باہر جب ان کے والد کے قافلے پر پولیس نے حملہ کیا تو وہ زخمی ضرور ہوئے لیکن ہلاک نہیں ہوئے اور پولیس نے ان کو اپنی ایک گاڑی میں ڈال کر گولی ماری اور پھر کراچی کے مڈایسٹ ہسپتال کے دروزے پر پھینک دیا۔ وہ لکھتی ہیں کہ مڈایسٹ ہسپتال میں ایمرجنسی کے کیسز سے نمٹنے کا نہ تو تجربہ تھا اور نہ ہی آزار۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو نے پاکستان کے سابق صدر فاروق احمد لغاری کے حوالے سے لکھا ہے کہ آصف زرداری نے انہیں کہا تھا کہ اس ملک یا میں رہ سکتا ہوں یا مرتضیٰ بھٹو۔

    کتاب میں فاطمہ بھٹو اپنی زندہ پھوپھی صنم بھٹو کا صرف ایک بار ہلکا سا ذکر کرتی ہیں اور بینظیر بھٹو کی اولاد کا وہ سرے سے نام لینا بھی پسند نہیں کرتیں۔

    پاکستان کے عوام کو بینظیر بھٹو سے ہزاروں شکایتیں ہوں گی لیکن جس طرح انہوں نے تاریخ کے بدترین ڈکٹیٹر کا ایک عشرے تک مقابلہ کر کے ملک میں جمہوریت کو واپس لایا اس سے کسی کو انکار نہیں۔ فاطمہ بھٹو کو قطعی طور پر اس کا علم نہیں ہے کہ ان کی ’وڈی بوا’ کتنے عرصے تک جیل میں رہیں۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو شاید یہ بھی سمجھنے سے قاصر ہیں کہ جس پیپلز پارٹی پر اپنے والد کا حق سمجھتی ہیں وہ پیلز پارٹی تو ان کے دادا کے پھانسی پر چڑھائے جانے کے ساتھ ہی ختم ہو گئی تھی اور جب ان کے والد سترہ سال بعد واپس پاکستان لوٹے تو جو پیپلز پارٹی موجود تھی وہ ذوالفقار علی بھٹو کی نہیں بلکہ بینظیر بھٹو کی جماعت تھی۔

    فاطمہ بھٹو نے ایک وفادار بیٹی کا کردار تو ضرور نبھایا ہے لیکن اچھے مصنف کے لیے جتنی دانشوانہ دیانتدای کی ضرورت ہوتی ہے’ لہو اور تلوار کے گیت’ کے ہر باب میں اس کا واضح فقدان نظر آتا ہے۔

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2010/05/100513_fatima_butto_book.shtml

  • Nazir Naji’s article in Jang:

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    درد کے رشتے ….سویرے سویرے …نزیرناجی

    ایک خط پیش خدمت ہے۔ ایسی تحریریں خون دل سے لکھی جاتی ہیں۔ کیوں؟ پہلے خط ملاحظہ فرمایئے۔
    مکرمی و محترمی نذیر ناجی صاحب:- جب سے ذوالفقار علی شہید کی پوتی اور میر مرتضی بھٹو کی ہونہار بیٹی فاطمہ بھٹو کی کتاب “Songs of Blood and Sowrd”منظر عام پر آئی ہے۔ اس کے حوالے سے ملکی و غیر ملکی اخبارات میں بحث جاری ہے۔ تاریخ کے جبر کے تحت مجھے میرمرتضی بھٹو اور میر شاہنواز بھٹو کے ساتھ‘ ملنے‘ رہنے‘ پروگرامز تشکیل دینے اور انہیں سمجھنے کے مواقع میسر رہے ہیں اور اسی بنا پر فوجی عدالت سے میری سزائے موت کا حکم بھی جاری ہوا۔ مگر بقول فیض
    گلوئے عشق کو دارورسن پہنچ نہ سکے
    تو لوٹ آئے ترے سربلند کیا کرتے؟
    میں لوٹ کر آیا ضرور لیکن پورے 9 سال بعد۔ ان 9 سال کے ابتدائی 27 ماہ پیروں میں بھاری بھرکم آہنی بیڑیاں پہنے‘ قلعہ بالاحصار اور شاہی قلعہ لاہور کی تنگ و تاریک کوٹھڑیوں میں گزرے۔ اگلے اڑھائی سال انہی بیڑیوں سمیت کوٹ لکھپت‘ ساہیوال اور میانوالی کی جیلوں میں ‘ پھانسی کی کوٹھڑیوں کے اندر گزارنا پڑے۔
    اذیت ناک قید کے اس طویل عرصے کو محض چند لفظوں میں اس لئے بیان کیا کہ خدا نے آپ کو وہ تجربہ اور حساس دل عطا کر رکھا ہے‘ جس سے آپ یہ سطور لکھنے کے محرک جذبے کو محسوس کر سکتے ہیں۔ اگرچہ خاموشی ایک اچھا اور عافیت پرور وصف ہے لیکن بعض اوقات یہ سنگین جرم کی شکل اختیار کر جاتا ہے۔ جن حقائق تک میری رسائی رہی ہے‘ میں آپ کے کالموں کے توسط سے انتہائی دیانتداری کے ساتھ اس موضوع میں دلچسپی رکھنے والے قارئین کی نذر کرنا چاہتا ہوں۔ فاطمہ بھٹو کے جینیاتی نظام میں اس Electricity کا ہونا لازم تھا جو کسی بھی پیدائشی لیڈر کے لئے انتہائی ضروری عنصر سمجھا جاتا ہے۔ لیکن پیدائش کے ساتھ ہی پے درپے حوادث کے ہجوم نے ان کی شخصیت میں اداسی‘ غم و غصہ اور آئیڈیل ازم کے رحجانات کو پروان چڑھانے میں خاصہ کردار ادا کیا ہے۔اپنی کتاب میں وہ جابجا مذکورہ خواص کے زیراثر دکھائی دیتی ہیں۔ وہ اپنے والد کے سلسلے میں رومانس اور گہرے دکھ سے باہر نہیں آ سکیں۔ گہرے صدمات اور جذباتیت کے زیراثر وہ محترمہ بے نظیر بھٹو‘ ان کی پیپلزپارٹی اور ان سے رشتوں میں وابستہ شخصیات کے خلاف کوئی نہ کوئی پہلو تلاش کر کے دل کی بھڑاس نکال لیتی ہیں۔ وہ سارے واقعات جن پر انہوں نے قلم آزمائی کی ہے‘ ان کی پیدائش سے پہلے یا پھر ان کے بچپن سے تعلق رکھتے ہیں۔ میرمرتضیٰ بھٹو کی شخصیت‘ سیاسی سوچ اور اپروچ‘ ان کے مسلح جدوجہد کے فیصلے کی وجوہ وغیرہ پر اب تک کوئی قلمی کام نہیں ہوا۔ (راقم ان دنوں یہ فریضہ انجام دے رہا ہے۔ انشاء اللہ میری کتاب اس سال مکمل ہو جائے گی) فاطمہ بھٹو کو اس ضمن میں کوئی تحریری مواد میسر نہیں ہے۔ اپنے اردگرد کی دنیا میں ان کی معلومات کا ذریعہ محترمہ غنویٰ بھٹو یا ان کے والد کے قریب رہنے والے لوگ ہی ہو سکتے ہیں۔
    جہاں تک غنویٰ بھٹو صاحبہ کا تعلق ہے‘ تواس سلسلے میں راقم فقط اتنا کہنے پر ہی اکتفا کرے گا کہ فاطمہ بھٹوکو ان ذرائع سے جو معلومات بھی حاصل ہوں گی‘ ان پر تنقید نہ کی جائے ‘ تو ان کے زخمی دل کے لئے بہتر ہو گا۔ فاطمہ بھٹو کو پیپلزپارٹی کی تحریک کی طاقت کے اس پہلو پر ضرور غور وفکر کرنا چاہیے کہ جو بھی پارٹی کے دھارے سے باہر گیا ہے‘ وہ کہیں کا نہیں رہا۔ جس نے بھی بھٹو کی جگہ لینے کی کوشش کی‘ اس کے خواب شرمندہ تعبیر نہیں ہوئے۔ پارٹی کی اعلیٰ قیادت کے ساتھ محاذ آرائی اور اس کے خلاف الزام تراشی کی روش چھوڑ کے‘ اگر کوئی پارٹی کے کارکن کی حیثیت سے کام کا آغاز کرے‘ تو یقینا وہ ملک و قوم کے لئے بہترین اثاثہ ثابت ہو گا۔ فاطمہ بھٹو کے لئے بھی یہی راستہ ہے۔ وہ یقینا پارٹی کا قیمتی اثاثہ ہیں۔ بشرطیکہ وہ پارٹی کو دستیاب ہوں۔ فاطمہ بھٹونے کسی ثبوت کے بغیر اپنی تصنیف میں لکھا ہے کہ جناب ذوالفقار علی بھٹو نے 1979 ء میں راولپنڈی جیل کی پھانسی کی کوٹھڑی سے میرے والد کو خط لکھا تھاکہ وہ افغانستان جا کر گوریلا جنگ کے لئے تربیتی کیمپ قائم کر کے ‘ ڈکٹیٹر ضیاالحق کے خلاف مسلح جدوجہد کریں۔ بھٹو جیسے عظیم مدبر‘ دانشور‘ دوراندیش ‘ حالات کی نبض کو سمجھنے والے‘ فوجی اور ریاستی اداروں کی طاقت و قوت کا ادراک رکھنے والے‘ معاملہ فہم لیڈر سے ایسی توقع کرنا ہی مضحکہ خیز ہے۔
    اس جہان فانی سے کوچ کر جانے والے کسی شخص کے ساتھ ایسی بات منسوب کرنا‘ جو اس نے کبھی نہ کی ہو‘ پرلے درجے کی غیرذمہ داری اور دینی حوالے سے گناہ کے زمرے میں آتی ہے۔ مرتضیٰ بھٹو کے ساتھ اپنے تعلق خاطر کے ثبوت میں یہی بتانا کافی ہے کہ ان کے جانثار ساتھی کی حیثیت سے مجھے ضیاالحق کی فوجی عدالت نے موت کا مستحق سمجھا۔ میر مرتضیٰ بھٹو نے مجھے کابل میں بتایا کہ مصطفی کھر نے انہیں یقین دلایا تھا کہ کوئی جنرل (میر صاحب نے نام نہیں بتایا) بھٹو صاحب کو جیل سے نکال کر جہاز کے ذریعے افغانستان پہنچانے کا وعدہ کر رہا ہے۔ بھٹو صاحب کو جیل میں پیغام پہنچائیں کہ وہ اس کے لئے تیار رہیں۔ جب بھٹو صاحب کو یہ پیغام ملا‘ تو انہوں نے اسے پرلے درجے کی حماقت یا نان سینس قرار دیا اور کہا کہ اس طرح تو انہیں موقع مل جائے گا کہ وہ مجھے گولیوں سے بھون کر یہ کہہ دیں کہ فرار ہونے کی کوشش میں مارا گیا۔ بھٹو صاحب نے سختی کے ساتھ اس حرکت سے منع کیا تھا۔ اپنی بات کو آگے بڑھاتے ہوئے میرمرتضیٰ بھٹو نے کہا تھا کہ اگر قائد عوام انہیں منع نہ کرتے‘ تو جس طرح ہم نے طیارہ اغوا کر کے تم لوگوں کو رہا کرایا ہے‘ اسی طرح ضیاالحق کو مجبور کر کے قائد عوام کی زندگی بچا سکتے تھے۔ میں اس عمر میں خدا کو حاضر و ناظر جان کر یہ سچائی ظاہر کر رہا ہوں۔ کیونکہ مجھے بھی وہیں جانا ہے‘ جہاں فاطمہ کے والد اور ان کے عظیم دادا گئے تھے۔
    میر مرتضیٰ بھٹو اور شاہنواز بھٹو نے الذوالفقار کے تحت افغانستان سے اپنی عسکری کارروائیوں کا آغاز بھٹو صاحب کو شہید کر دیئے جانے کے بعد کیا تھا۔ فاطمہ بھٹو نے قائد عوام کی عظیم شخصیت کے وقار کو اپنے قلم سے مجروح کیا ہے اور پیپلزپارٹی سے نسل درنسل وابستہ لاکھوں پارٹی کارکنوں کی تشویش میں اضافہ کیا ہے۔ امید رکھتا ہوں کہ آئندہ وہ اس کا اعادہ نہیں کریں گی۔ میں ان کی صحت‘ سلامتی اور کامیابیوں کے لئے دعا گو ہوں۔
    آصف بٹ ایڈووکیٹ ۔ہائی کورٹس۔ لاہور
    یہ خط مزید کسی تشریح کا محتاج نہیں ہے۔ آصف بٹ ان لوگوں میں ہیں‘ جنہوں نے اپنی زندگی کا سنہرا دور بھٹوز کی محبت میں جیلوں کے اندر گزار دیا اور وہ بھی اذیت گاہوں اور پھانسی کی کوٹھڑیوں میں بھاری آہنی بیڑیوں کے اندر جکڑے ہوئے۔ اسی لئے میں نے ابتداء میں لکھا کہ ایسے خط خون دل سے لکھے جاتے ہیں۔

    17 May, 2010

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