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Questions Concerning the Murder of Benazir Bhutto

Owen Bennett-Jones: Who killed Benazir​ Bhutto?

6 December 2012
... In her posthumously published book, Reconciliation, BenazirBhutto named a man who she believed had tried to procure bombs for an unsuccessful attempt on her life in Karachi in October 2007: I was informed of a meeting that had taken place in Lahore where the bomb ...
30 March 1989
Nehru: The Making of India 
by M.J. Akbar.
Viking, 609 pp., £17.95, January 1989, 9780670816996
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Daughter of the East 
by Benazir Bhutto.
Hamish Hamilton, 333 pp., £12.95, November 1988, 0 241 12398 4
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... When Rajiv Gandhi and BenazirBhutto recently signed their Islamabad accord, the similarities in their lives and backgrounds immediately attracted widespread attention. They were born, after all, to the same, Western-educated ...

One Screw Short

Owen Bennett-Jones: Pakistan’s Bomb

18 July 2019
Pakistan’s Nuclear Bomb: A Story of Defiance, Deterrence and Deviance 
by Hassan Abbas.
Hurst, 341 pp., £25, January 2018, 978 1 84904 715 9
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... had offered him $10 billion for nuclear weapons technology. In the event Pakistan sold it much more cheaply.An indication of quite how tight a grip Pakistan’s military kept on all this is that BenazirBhutto knew nothing about it until well into her first term as prime minister – and even then found out only by accident. In the autumn of 1989, as she told Abbas and others, she was at a ...

Daughter of the West

Tariq Ali: The Bhuttos

13 December 2007
... will continue with the process knowing full well that it will end in misery and possibly violence. That this is equally true in political life became clear in the recent attempt by Washington to tie BenazirBhutto to Pervez Musharraf. The single, strong parent in this case was a desperate State Department – with John Negroponte as the ghoulish go-between and Gordon Brown as the blushing bridesmaid ...

‘I am the destiny’

Eqbal Ahmad: Pakistani politics

18 June 1998
The Terrorist Prince: Life and Death of Murtaza Bhutto 
by Raja Anwar, translated by Khalid Hasan.
Verso, 254 pp., £16, January 1997, 1 85984 886 9
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Memoirs of a Bystander: A Life in Diplomacy 
by Iqbal Akhund.
Oxford, 500 pp., £15.99, June 1998, 0 19 577736 0
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Zulfikar Ali Bhutto​ and Pakistan 
by Rafi Raza.
Oxford, 420 pp., £15.95, April 1998, 0 19 577697 6
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... In London last month BenazirBhutto called on Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, to respond without delay to India’s nuclear tests. ‘It’s an opportunity for Pakistan to detonate nuclear weapons,’ she said, claiming that ...

After Lahore

Tariq Ali: It’s not just cricket

26 March 2009
... countries, every home match now also an away match. Many poor families have no electricity, let alone television sets. No cricket for them. Who did this and why? Many questions (as with the murder of BenazirBhutto) will remain unanswered. Who unleashed these monsters and, more important, was any intelligence operative aware of what was being plotted? Pakistan’s intelligence-gathering agencies ...

Next Door to War

Tariq Ali: After Benazir

17 July 2008
Descent into Chaos: How the War against Islamic Extremism Is Being Lost in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia 
by Ahmed Rashid.
Allen Lane, 484 pp., £25, July 2008, 978 0 7139 9843 6
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Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars within 
by Shuja Nawaz.
Oxford, 655 pp., £16.99, May 2008, 978 0 19 547660 6
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... To recapitulate. After BenazirBhutto was assassinated last December, her will was read out to the family’s assembled political retainers. Her 19-year-old son, Bilawal, inherited the Pakistan People’s Party, but until he came of age ...

‘What does one do?’

Tariq Ali: The Floods in Pakistan

23 September 2010
... not in short supply. Money was needed urgently, she told them: ‘Our people are suffering.’ When she then announced that she wanted to set up a relief fund in the names of Bilawal and Bakhtawar Bhutto (two of the three children of Zardari and BenazirBhutto), one of the businessmen rose and explained calmly that they were all concerned about the situation, and were prepared to contribute ...

The Filthy Rich Election

Tariq Ali: Pakistan’s New Rulers

20 June 2013
... to the factory fires or to the anti-Christian riots. They were busy elsewhere. Take just one example: the shenanigans of the provincial assembly in Sindh where the Pakistan People’s Party, led by BenazirBhutto’s widower, Asif Zardari, is the single largest bloc. The day before the assembly was due to be dissolved in advance of the general election, the provincial government ordered all the banks ...

‘Try and disarm us, if you can’

Tariq Ali: Old friends and new enemies in Lahore

15 April 1999
... two years ago, the surface calm was deceptive. As I was lunching my mother in her favourite Islamabad restaurant a jovial moustachioed figure came over to greet us from an adjacent table. His wife, BenazirBhutto, was abroad on a state visit. Senator Asif Zardari, State Minister for Investment, was responsible for entertaining the children in her absence and had brought them out for a special treat. An ...

The General in his Labyrinth

Tariq Ali: Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US

4 January 2007
... wanted a federal government. The military-political-economic elite came from West Pakistan, however, and all it could see in the Awami League’s victory was a threat to its privileges. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the leader of the Pakistan People’s Party, which had triumphed in the western portion of the country, should have negotiated a settlement with the victors. Instead he sulked, told his party to ...

Taliban v. Taliban

Graham Usher: India in Afghanistan

9 April 2009
... a friend of al-Qaida. What makes him a threat, in the eyes of Pakistan’s army, is that he is believed to be responsible for scores of suicide attacks inside Pakistan (including the assassination of BenazirBhutto). He is also thought to have recruited hundreds of Afghan fighters, among them ‘agents’ from the Afghan and Indian intelligence services – ‘Pakistan’s enemies’, in the words of a ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: The Hitchens Principle

21 March 2019
... profile of Hitchens, which includes a lovely anecdote about taking a taxi together in the soft evening light as Hitchens buttonholes the Pakistani-born driver on the ‘the virtues and vices of BenazirBhutto, while surreptitiously using a bottle of Evian to put out a small but smoky fire that he had set in the ashtray’. But the real point of the profile, which came out a year before the big ...

Abolish the CIA!

Chalmers Johnson: ‘A classic study of blowback’

21 October 2004
Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to 10 September 2001 
by Steve Coll.
Penguin, 695 pp., $29.95, June 2004, 1 59420 007 6
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... if their names have already been made public. Many of his most important interviews were on the record and he quotes from them extensively. Among the notable figures who agreed to be interviewed are BenazirBhutto, who is candid about having lied to American officials for two years about Pakistan’s aid to the Taliban, and Anthony Lake, the US national security adviser from 1993 to 1997, who lets it be ...

Pakistan at Sixty

Tariq Ali: The Trouble with Pakistan

4 October 2007
... jihadi finger finding the nuclear trigger is Musharraf. Alas, it now seems he might drown in a sea of troubles and so the helpful State Department has pushed out an over-inflated raft in the shape of BenazirBhutto. In fact, the threat of a jihadi takeover of Pakistan is remote. There is no possibility of a takeover by religious extremists unless the army wants one, as in the 1980s, when General Zia-ul ...

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