Politics & Media
Jul 17, 2009, 08:49AM

The State of Pakistan

An interview with Fatima Bhutto.

The story of Pakistani politics for the last four decades can be told through one family: the Bhuttos. Two Bhuttos have been heads of state, but four have been slain in the violence that riddles modern Pakistan. Fatima, the twenty-seven year old poet, stands in the wake of this carnage and is its heir. Her grandfather, Pakistan’s first democratically elected head of state and founder of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was executed three years before Fatima was born by General Zia-ul-Haq (who overthrew him in a military coup). Fatima’s Aunt Benazir was shot in her car on December 27, 2007, while campaigning. Her uncle was poisoned in exile. And when Fatima was just fourteen, outside her home in Karachi, her father was shot by dozens of police in one of Pakistan’s famous “encounters.” From that same home, Fatima insists that this violence points back to the family; she believes not only that her aunt was morally responsible, but that she played a direct role.


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