Where is Fatima Bhutto?
She was born in Kabul, grew up in Lebanon, did MA from Columbia University, USA and emerged as a writer/poet and social worker (sort of). She has got the might of pen and it’s due to that I like her a lot. I truly appreciate her point of view on many subjects. And I stayed in touch with her throughout when she used to write a weekly column in The News called A hundred beats.
With the start of political campaign last year she almost stopped writing. After the assassination of Benazir she came into limelight once again. The media thronged her to get her take on the whole issue. She tentatively pointed finger at Asif Ali Zardari for her assassination. It’s a known fact that the distance grew between the Bhuttos in mid 90s because of Zardari. She vehemently maintains that her father Mir Murtaza Bhutto was murdered in an encounter style by the then establishment, which was headed by her aunt Benazir.
Fatima still awaits justice in the case of her father’s assassination. As she pointed out the important witnesses have either been killed or retracted their early statements. The police officials involved in an encounter have been given promotions. That is just one aspect of the sad state of affairs in our country.
She is a huge critic of Zardari. When PPP won the majority vote and formed the government, the writer/journalist William Dalrymple rang her up and asked:
“So, with Zardari in power, are you now afraid for your own safety?”
Fatima considered for a second before answering: “Well, I am certainly very afraid for this country,” she said. “Even before Zardari, this was a country where anything can happen, a country that regularly disappears its own people. The state here is, in the worst way, expedient. You just don’t know what’s waiting for you, especially if you stand up and say what you think. And I have never been an especially diplomatic person. I certainly don’t belong to the silent majority.”
She paused. “So perhaps I should be anxious,” she said. “After all, this man knows no limits. He has a record. He has, as they say, form. And he is now clearly indulging in the politics of revenge and retribution. It’s nothing new – it’s how he has always been.” She paused again. “But what can you do? You just have to carry on as you can, and try to tell the truth as you see it. That’s all you can do.”
Ever since Zardari has come into power she doesn’t write regularly in the paper. After prolonged absence, last month she wrote an article about the impeachment of Musharraff and sensing where things are moving she wrote this,
“We have options. Zardari is not an option. Sharif is not an option. The army is not our one and only option. The mullahs have not become an option yet. There are close to 200 million of us: I’m sure we can think of something better.”
Zardari is not an option. We do admit this but then what is something better she talked about. We have yet to figure out that. I wish she stay safe and keep writing the truth.