By Margherita Stancati
There was a short-lived rumor last month that Fatima Bhutto was flirting with the idea of joining Imran Khan’s opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.
Speaking at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Sunday, she made it clear this was unlikely to happen. Ever.
“He (Imran Khan) has an incredible coziness not with the military but with dictatorship,” Ms. Bhutto said of Mr. Khan, a cricket legend-turned-politician who has been billing himself as the face of change in Pakistan.
Ms. Bhutto accused Mr. Khan of defending the legacy of former dictator Gen. Zia-ul-Haq, who came to power in the late 1970s after overthrowing Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Fatima’s grandfather and the founder of the country’s ruling Pakistan People’s Party. She also mentioned Mr. Khan’s support for a 2002 referendum allowing Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who had come to power with a coup a few years earlier, to extend his term.
That’s not where it ended. In what appeared to be a well-rehearsed argument to debunk the political credibility of the former cricket captain, Ms. Bhutto went on to list more reasons why she opposed his political foray.
“As a woman I worry very much about Imran’s politics,” said Ms. Bhutto. She spoke of his opposition to amending a 2006 woman’s bill in favor of victims of rape. She also questioned Mr. Khan’s commitment to secularism and to defending minorities.
“Is he a savior? No, I don’t think so,” said Ms. Bhutto during a Pakistan-focused session at the literary festival. ….
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