William Dalrymple in The Business Standard:
The Bhuttos’ acrimonious family squabbles have long resembled one of the bloody succession disputes that habitually plagued South Asia during the time of the Great Mughals. In the case of the Bhuttos, they date back to the moment when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was arrested on July 5, 1977. Unsure how to defend their father and his legacy, his children had reacted in different ways. Benazir believed the struggle should be peaceful and political. Her brothers initially tried the same approach, forming al-Nusrat, the Save Bhutto committee; but after two futile years they decided in 1979 to turn to the armed struggle. Murtaza was 23 and had just left Harvard where he got a top first, and where he was taught by, among others, Samuel Huntington. Forbidden by his father from returning to Zia’s Pakistan, he flew from the US first to London, then on to Beirut, where he and his younger brother Shahnawaz were adopted by Yasser Arafat. Under his guidance they received the arms and training necessary to form the Pakistan Liberation Army, later renamed Al-Zulfiquar or The Sword.
Just before his daughter Fatima was born, Murtaza and his brother had found shelter in Kabul as guests of the pro-Soviet government. There the boys had married a pair of Afghan sisters, Fauzia and Rehana Fasihudin, the beautiful daughters of a senior Afghan official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Fatima’s mother was Fauzia. For all its PLO training in camps in Syria, Afghanistan and Libya, Al-Zulfiquar achieved little except for two failed assassination attempts on Zia and the hijacking of a Pakistan International Airways flight in 1981. This was diverted from Karachi to Kabul and secured the release of some 55 political prisoners; but it also resulted in the death of an innocent passenger, a young army officer. Zia used the hijacking as a means of cracking down on the Pakistan Peoples Party, and got the two boys placed on the Federal Investigation Agency’s most-wanted list. Benazir was forced to distance herself from her two brothers even though they subsequently denied sanctioning the hijack, and claimed only to have acted as negotiators once the plane landed in Kabul. While much about the details of the hijacking remains mysterious, Murtaza was posthumously acquitted of hijacking in 2003.
I first encountered the family in 1994 when, as a young foreign correspondent on assignment for the Sunday Times, I was sent to Pakistan to write a long magazine piece on the Bhutto dynasty. I met Benazir in the giddy pseudo-Mexican Prime Minister’s House that she had built in the middle of Islamabad. It was the beginning of Benazir’s second term as Prime Minister, and she was at her most imperial. She both walked and talked in a deliberately measured and regal manner, and frequently used the royal “we”. During my interview, she took a full three minutes to float down the hundred yards of lawns separating the Prime Minister’s House from the chairs where I had been told to wait for her. There followed an interlude when Benazir found the sun was not shining in quite the way she wanted it to: “The sun is in the wrong direction,” she announced. Her hair was arranged in a sort of baroque beehive topped by white gauze dupatta like one of those Roman princesses in Caligula or Rome.
More here. (Note: Thanks to dear friend Nighat Mir in Karachi).