Fatima Bhutto’s first book Songs of Blood and Sword, a saga of Pakistan’s most famous family and an insider’s account of the violent events that rocked it from time to time, is making waves across the world.
“I’ve got overwhelming support in India,” she says, her voice a cultured burr with a distinct American twang, easily explained by her long sojourn in the West – she studied at Columbia University and the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. “I think a large part of this support comes from the fact that I represent the antithesis to power. People are fascinated by power, but they are also suspicious of it,” she says.
It is a fascination that is easily understood. Her genealogy – boldly printed on the cover of her book – explains it all. While you wait to delve into the blood-splattered history of her famous family, you get a taste of things to come when Fatima is described as ‘granddaughter to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, executed 1979’, ‘daughter of Mir Murtaza Bhutto, assassinated 1996’ and ‘niece to Benazir Bhutto, assassinated 2007’. It is very clear who is telling this story, and why.
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