Fatima Bhutto: ‘We didn’t know what would happen tomorrow’

From The Guardian:

Fatima-bhutto-in-london-001 In December 2007, at the moment Benazir Bhutto was murdered in the chaotic run-up to the Pakistani elections – in which she hoped to win a third term as prime minister – her niece Fatima was out campaigning. Fatima's first thought, when the news came through, was disbelief: they couldn't kill another Bhutto, they wouldn't dare. Then shock set in as she made the emotional connection with the murder of her father, Murtaza, a decade before. “I cried for the next five days,” she writes in her new book, Songs of Blood and Sword. “By the time I had drained myself of tears, I had cried for everyone.” The tears were unexpected. Fatima was out campaigning for a rival party. She has for years been a ferocious critic of Benazir and her widower, Asif Ali Zardari, now president of Pakistan, and what she calls the “Bhutto cult”, whereby party leadership is handed down through the family. But she has good memories of Benazir as well. As a child she was often told she was just like her aunt. “We liked all the same revolting sweets,” she says.

The Bhuttos have dominated Pakistani politics for decades. But dynastic politics brought murderous rivalries. Benazir fell out with her brothers, one of whom was Fatima's father, after their father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, founder of the Pakistan People's Party and the country's fourth president, was executed by General Zia's dictatorship in 1979. While her brothers plotted to overthrow Zia from Kabul, and were accused of orchestrating a plane hijacking in 1981, Benazir pressed for political advantage and was twice elected prime minister – and twice removed on charges of corruption. The siblings became enemies, and when Murtaza was shot dead outside the family home in Karachi in 1996, Fatima, then 14, suspected her aunt of being involved.

More here.