Slain Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto's much-talked about last book, which speaks of her vision for the Islamic world, will be launched in Washington on February 20.
The book, which the former premier put together with the help of her long-time friend and associate Mark Siegel in the last few months of her life, will be released at the National Press Club. It will feature a short afterword by Bhutto's husband Asif Ali Zardari and their children.
According to Siegel, Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West embodies Bhutto's vision for the Islamic world. HarperCollins, the publisher, decided to rush the book into
print following Bhutto's assassination after an election rally in Rawalpindi on December 27.
HarperCollins had given Bhutto an estimated advance of $75,000 (about Rs 30 lakhs) just before she returned to Pakistan in October after years of living in self-imposed exile. The publishers have described the book as "a bold, uncompromising vision of hope for the future of not only Pakistan, but also for the Islamic world".
"Benazir presents a powerful argument for a reconciliation of Islam with democratic principles, in the face of opposition from Islamic extremists and Western skeptics," a statement from the publishers said.
The launch is being hosted by the National Book Club's Book and Author Committee on the evening of February 20. The event is expected to be "very well attended", said a source from National Book Club.
Meanwhile, a Pakistani journalist is working on a coffee-table book on Bhutto.
Fasih Ahmed has put together over 20,000 photographs of Bhutto and lined up a publisher. "Many of the photographs have not been published previously," Ahmed told the Daily Times.
A number of Bhutto's personal friends contributed photos and essays for the book titled BB.
Ahmed, who works for Newsweek, said: "Hopefully, the book will offer an insight into the life of the extraordinary woman."
The coffee-table book, expected to be out in April, will not be available for sale but will be offered by invitation to interested parties.