|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Benazir's niece slams Zardari's 'clean record'
May 19, 2008 17:05 IST
Slain former premier Benazir Bhutto's [Images] niece Fatima has said that she will continue her struggle against "Asif and a clean record" after her uncle Asif Ali Zardari was acquitted of her father's murder.
"Well, I am certainly very afraid for this country," said Fatima when asked if she was afraid for her own safety.
"Even before Zardari, this was a country where anything can happen, a country that regularly disappears its own people. The state here is, in the worst way, expedient. You just don't know what's waiting for you, especially if you stand up and say what you think," she said.
Fatima, who was very critical of her aunt, said when she heard about Benazir's death "it was too familiar".
She said she went to the funeral with her mother Ghinwa but no words were exchanged with Zardari. "I was looking at him, but he didn't look back or even acknowledge our presence."
"Of course, I was angry at what Benazir did to my father...but mainly because I expected more. I do feel sad that the idealistic Benazir I knew as a child had turned into a person so tragically mired in corruption and compromise. The person who was killed was a completely different person to the one I loved," Fatima said
"I cried when I heard the news of her death. She was shot in the neck, just like my father. Only one of my father's four siblings is alive now, (the rest) all killed in these terrible ways," Fatima said.
Asked if she was considering entering politics, Fatima said, "I am political, but I don't think becoming an MP and sitting in Islamabad is necessarily the best way to influence people here. A writer has other options."
"There is much to be done. Power in Pakistan never changes hands it's only the victims who change. The people of this country are so dispossessed they have no access to justice or basic necessities. There is so much corruption. We have to teach the people to stand together and protect themselves." she said.
"For now I want to be a writer. But if in the future there was a way I could serve my country that did not involve becoming yet another part of dynastic birthright politics, maybe I could envisage putting my name forward. If I stood I would want it to be on my own merits, not as a member of a dynasty," Fatima said.