Stranger in the Realm

Hairan Harkati of K2 News has found writer Fatima Bhutto on a rare visit to Pakistan.

She is downcast and her body language speaks of her feelings that no stay is too short in the country. For her the election of Imran Khan as Pakistan’s prime minister is an extreme let down.

Hairan was quick to ask her about her father, Mir Murtaza Bhutto’s murder in 1996, whose investigation was blocked by her aunt Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari.

Fatima Bhutto was in her element, “The crown of Pakistan belongs to us, the progeny of the immortal Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the founder of Pakistan…”

A surprised Hairan could only blurt, “Founder? Really!”

FB returned the volley, declaring, “Yes. The Pakistan that Jinnah created died on December 16, 1971. On that day, my grandfather created the real Pakistan.

“Isn’t it a Prophetic saying that his [the Prophet’s] family, the AhlulBayt, is like the Ark of Noah? Whoever embarked it was saved, and whoever turned away from it perished.

“Whoever embarked the Ark of my grandfather… the Immortal Zulfikar Ali Bhutto prevailed. And you see the state of others.

“Pakistan is our right to rule. Do you remember or know that whenever my father strode to address the masses, what did they say, Jab tak suraj chand rahaiga, Bhutto tera waris rahaiga (As long as the sun and moon will be, the progeny of Bhutto will prevail).

“Today, you see the names flash of people like Aitzaz Ahsan, Sherry Rehman… Khurshid Shah… Murrad Ali Shah… and what not. They are there because they embarked the Ark of the Immortal.

“Our guidance is the Immortal… my grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He taught us that self-interest is central to life. See how he created Pakistan by refusing to surrender his self-interest… he refused to accept East Pakistan’s majority.

“My father… the martyr… was the true son of his father. Our grandpa took his share from the [1974] Hunza and Swat earthquake funds and the Qaddafi nuclear funds and put it aside for his four children… he had the foresight… It was from these funds that my father, my uncle Shahnawaz and my aunts financed that eleven-year war against the usurper … that murderer… Ziaul Haq.”

Hairan took the opportunity to ask her about the political developments in Pakistan.

FB, pointing her finger at him responded, “I will only tell you what I told the Indian… NDTV interviewer. My criticism of Imran Khan’s politics has been that I don’t see any conversation with women in his politics.

“Now what Imran offers in feminism… a short and fat woman in the federal cabinet and a big and fat woman in the Punjab cabinet. Compare them to what my uncle Asif and cousin Bilawal have… there is the sexy Sherry Rehman who not only has the appeal and impeccable feminist credentials and money skills… her husband’s bank. They have around them women of pedigree… Nafisa Shah, daughter of the great Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah who never forgot his station and served the Bhutto family to his best!

“Imran Khan is but a misogynist… his hatred, contempt, and prejudice against women and girls in apparent. Are any women of pedigree with him? Does he have any Sherry or Nafisa? He has three sisters… did he get them elected to any of the assemblies or the Senate?

“On the provinces issue, I again refer to my NDTV interview. In Imran’s realm I don’t see a conversation that empowers the provinces of Pakistan. I give you an example… the great Malik Riaz Husain of Bahria Estates gifted a house to my cousin Bilawal in Lahore; and our party returned the favor by exchanging with him some Malir lot for his project and hell broke lose. Does Sindh belong to Imran?

“Lyari was our seat … my Adi [aunt]… the queen of martyrs [Benazir Bhutto] owned it. Even the Islamic council has ruled in favor of land ownership … Lyrai belonged to my Adi… later my uncle [Zardari] preserved it for the family … but now Imran’s party grabbed it… not only that… snatched it from Bilawal.”

Hairan asked her about her cousin Bilawal’s entry into politics.

FB responded, “Truly the seat of Pakistan, belongs to my brother [Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Jr.]… but he has preferred the life of an artiste so Bilawal has done the right thing to seek the family heirloom. He’s a young man. And very wisely my uncle [Zardari] has added the Bhutto name to that of his children’s names. I wish Bilawal and my cousins [Bakhtawar and Aseefa] the best in attaining our heirloom.

“Imran Khan’s brand of politics will only suffocate the liberals. Look how he has enforced registration rules on domestic and international NGOs as if they are madrassahs. NGOs and INGOs are the lifeblood of liberals in Pakistan.

“It is time that liberals must unite… self-interest lies in following the path of the martyr [Bhutto]… we need to defend ourselves against this stranger in the realm.”

One thought on “Stranger in the Realm

  1. Salman Haq

    Amazing grasp of the past and current happenings in Pakistan’s politics by the author – in spite of living so very far away.

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