Power Not Politics Divided the Bhuttos: Fatima

Power Not Politics Divided the Bhuttos: Fatima
It was power, which is more destructive than politics, that divided Pakistan's powerful Bhutto family, feels the writer-poet scion Fatima Bhutto.

"Power is more destructive than politics. Everybody in the family had different ideologies from the start but when the family became powerful, things began to fracture," the 29-year-old neice of slain Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said at the Times Literary Carnival.

Fatima, who finds penning memoir a strange process since it entails researching one's own family, says she took up writing because of a promise she had made to Murtaza, her father, who like her grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and aunt Benazir, died a violent death.

Fatima Bhutto was 14 years old when her father, Mir Murtaza, was shot dead by police after a gun battle outside his Karachi home in 1996.

"I took up writing because it was the last thing I promised my father Murtaza hours before he was killed," she said speaking on "Selective Nostalgia: Memoir Writing and Charitable Deception of Memory".

"I asked him (Murtaza) why doesn't he write about himself. He told me to do it after he was gone and few hours later he was killed," she said and described her father as a "fascinating figure".

About her latest book Songs of Desert and Sword, which is an account of Murtaza's life seen through her eyes, she said it was strange to research about her own family while writing the book that dwells on the brutal and corrupt world of Pakistani power politics which claimed the lives of four members of the Bhutto dynasty in the past 31 years.

She said her target audience was the young Pakistani who viewed her writing with "sympathy, solidarity and curiosity".

While conceding that it was not possible to be neutral about people you love, Fatima said she had critically analysed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's handling of balochistan.

"He could have made a difference by ending the repression of Balochi people but it continued," she said.
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