The Bhutto legacy in a younger generation

During my current visit to Indonesia, I’ve been spending time with Fatima Bhutto, the niece of assassinated Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto. Fatima is a determined, passionate person, angry at her government’s complicity with the US and its war against supposed “terrorists”.

Here’s a short extract from a 2008 Guardian profile:

Fatima is at great pains to distance herself from her aunt. She did her masters at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies, not Oxford, she points out, and instead of heading a debating society, she wrote her dissertation on the resistance movement to Zia. She published a book of poetry, Whispers of the Desert, at the precocious age of 15, followed in 2006 with a collection of stories about the 2005 earthquake that killed 73,000 people in Kashmir and North West Frontier Province. “The comparisons are largely cosmetic,” she said. “In terms of political ideology, what we read, how we think, we are very different. I don’t think that I’m anything like her.”

Her weekly column touches on social and political issues. She won plaudits for her reports of the 2006 war in Lebanon – she was in the country when the fighting started – and keeps a poster of Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah on the door of her office. She yearns to visit Kabul, her birthplace, but her mother discouraged it on grounds of danger.