Tag Archives: Fatima

Delhi comes out for Fatima

By , TNN

Literary do: This was a good opportunity for Delhi’s literary enthusiasts to get a copy signed by an author who usually gets a fair degree of attention this side of the border.

Fatima Bhutto recently launched her book, The Shadow of the Crescent Moon, in Delhi. To celebrate the occasion, restaurateur AD Singh hosted a do at The Dirty Martini at Olive Qutub, Mehrauli. Dressed in a smart blue sari, Fatima obliged guests who approached her to get their copy signed. “Earlier, there were some serials from Pakistan which were telecast in India as well. But now, Pakistan means just music and singers (here), which is not enough,” Fatima said.

Phoren praise: Radidja Nemar, a French national who was on an India tour, also attended the session. “I’ve heard about her. This is going to be my first book from this author. It was lovely speaking to her, especially on the unspoken violence that a majority of women go through,” said Nemar.

Courtesy: The Times of India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/books/Delhi-comes-out-for-Fatima/articleshow/24935639.cms

The Quaid and the Quetta massacre

By Haider Nizamani

If Muhammad Ali Jinnah happened to be on the Quetta-bound bus of Shia pilgrims on June 28, the self-proclaimed custodians of Islam would have killed him, along with 13 others. They would do so because Jinnah was a Shia and that would have been reason enough.

Jinnah, for most Pakistanis today, is the Quaid-e-Azam — the man above any sect in the Islamic Republic. As the Republic he founded increasingly becomes a place where minorities feel vulnerable, it would be remiss to forget that the founder of the country was a Shia. Born into an Ismaili family, he later converted to the Twelver (isna ashri) branch of Shia Islam. He died in 1948 and his sister, Miss Fatima Jinnah, filed an affidavit in the Sindh High Court stating that her brother was a “Shia Khoja Mohamedan”. Liaquat Ali Khan, the first prime minister of Pakistan, jointly signed the affidavit. Khaled Ahmed, in his book Sectarian War, documents in detail how the last rites of the Quaid were performed according to Shia stipulations. Jinnah’s Shia colleagues such as Yusuf Haroon and Hashim Raza attended the namaz-e-janaza (funeral prayer) at the Governor General’s House, while prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan waited outside in the adjacent room. After the Shia funeral prayer, the nascent state took the body for Sunni last rites at the grounds where now stands the Quaid’s mausoleum in Karachi. Miss Fatima Jinnah passed away in 1967 and in her case, too, private last rites were performed according to Shia guidelines and the state-sponsored namaz-e-janaza followed it.

Sunni militant outfits portray Shias as lesser Muslims and thus, lesser Pakistanis. This commandeering of state discourse on Islam from the 1980s onward has emboldened the militants to take up arms against their coreligionists in select parts of Pakistan.

Continue reading The Quaid and the Quetta massacre

Fatima Bhutto Blasts Imran Khan

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. ….

Read more » The Wall Street Journal (wsj)

Book Review – Fatema of Sindh

Sindh Ji Fatema – A book Tribute by Chacha Mohammad Ali Laghari to his Wife

Book Review by Khalid Hashmani

After several years, in early part of 2011, Chacha Mohammad Ali Laghari visited his son (Sufi Munawar Laghari) who now lives in Washington D.C. The last time when I met him in May 2008, he was tending to his wife Ghulam Fatema Laghari at Munawar Laghari’s apartment. Fatema was suffering from cancer and had travelled thousands of miles to see his son. Munawar cannot visit Sindh due to fear of prosecution. She soon departed after returning to Sindh few days later. As I had enjoyed hospitality of gracious Chacha Mohammad Ali and his spouse Fatema Laghari and their son Anwar Laghari when I visited Sindh in 2000. Naturally, I invited Chacha Mohammad Ali for a simple meal at my apartment in the outskirts of Washington D.C. After “Hal-Ahwal“, Chacha Mohammad Ali took out a book from his bag and after writing a short note, he gave me that book to read. The title of the book was “Sindh Ji Fatema”. It intrigued me very much and I immediately started browsing this 200 plus book written in the Sindhi language enshrined with spiritual Sindhi poetry by legendary Sindhi poets such as Shah Abdul Latif, Sachal Sarmast, Shaikh Ayaz, and others. I was intrigued because it is not often that a person writes a book about his/her spouse. Particularly, coming from a male-dominated society, where literacy rate is substantially lower, his book about his wife was quite remarkable undertaking and indeed a great tribute.

Continue reading Book Review – Fatema of Sindh

Let’s look into Barrister Jinnah’s degree too!

by Mohammad Nafees

Quaid was grade five student in 1892. In 1893, he joined Lincoln Inn to start his law study. Within one year’s period, his big jump from fifth grade to the post graduate level studies seems impossible achievement. What makes it further mysterious is that he became a Barrister in 1896 at the age of 19.

A mystery surrounds the educational record of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah that makes one wonder as to how this subject remained un-noticeable or unimportant so far to a large number of writers and researchers who, despite their analytical approach and in-depth study on Quaid’s life, never tried to search this area and bring this puzzle together. Stanley Wolpert is considered as a very authentic biographer of Quaid-e-Azam and his book, Jinnah of Pakistan, has a reputation of a very reliable source on the life of this great leader of the sub-continent. Talking on Quaid’s early education, he quotes a sentence from Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah; “Mamad (Mohammad Ali Jinnah) enrolled in the Sindh Madressa on December 23, 1887.” The website of Sindh Madressah carries this note: “Finally, after about four and a half year of his association with the institution, while studying in Standard V [fifth grade], he left Sindh Madressah on 30th January 1892.”

This statement confirms the authenticity of the enrolment date at Sindh Madressa that Stanley Wolpert used in his book. The mystery begins from this point onward. In January 1893 Quaid-e-Azam left for London and joined Lincoln Inn on June 25, 1893 to start his law study. Within one year’s period, his big jump from fifth grade to the post graduate level studies seems like a very surprising and humanly impossible achievement. What makes it further mysterious is that he successfully completed the examination and became a qualified Barrister on 29 April 1896 at the age of 19 years only. …

Read more : ViewPoint

Murtaza Bhutto was a courageous man and an emerging leader

Murtaza Bhutto’s murder was a great tragedy for Sindh. He was a courageous man and an emerging leader for the downtrodden and ill-served people in Sindh. It has been about 14 years now but we still don’t know who ordered his killing. Case has been in court since long but it doesn’t seem to go anywhere.

Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid tribunal had presented its 242 page report about 13 years ago to the then Sindh government. It had limited scope and didn’t fix blame on anybody. It had however exonerated former President Farooq Leghari of his involvement in the murder.

The tribunal had also dismissed speculation that the death was an accident. It did not absolve the police force, and said that the orders for the murder came from “a higher authority,” above that of the city police chief and the area police commander, who supervised the operation.

It didn’t say who that “higher authority” was. People want to know who ordered the murder of that valiant son of Sindh and the culprits have to be brought to justice. Who will give justice for Murtaza Bhutto who was cold blood murdered just a few yards away from his house.

Mir Murtaza Bhutto and Fatima Bhutto

Mir Murtaza Bhutto

(September 18, 1954 – September 20, 1996)

Murtaza Bhtto, the elder son of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was a revolutionary. Bhutto campaigned as an independent in the 1993 elections, winning a seat in the assembly governing the Sindh province. In 1996, he accused police of unfairly targeting his organization. Several hours after the conference, he was shot and killed along with six supporters during an altercation with the police. Murtaza was killed by police in 1996 in Karachi, during the premiership of his sister, Benazir Bhutto.

Fatima Bhutto (born 29 May 1982) is a young poet, writer and columnist who came to fame after the appearance of her first book, a collection of poems, titled Whispers of the Desert. Fatima was only 15 years old when the collection was published. She is now a columnist for The News in Pakistan. She received notable coverage for her second book. Fatima is the daughter of the Shaheed Murtaza Bhutto. She is the grand-daughter of former Prime Minister, Z.A. Bhutto. Fatima is not known to be very active political worker. She is however far more active as a political writer and spares no body in criticism. Fatima’s style of writing resembles that of “Arab News” jovial writer Jehad Khazin. Her writings show some Pan-arabism , Liberalism and a lot of multi-directional political sides.

Mir Murtaza Bhutto and Fatima Bhutto

mirandfatimaMir Murtaza Bhutto- Murtaza Bhtto,(Septembe 18, 1954- September 20, 1996) the elder son of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was a revolutionary. Bhutto campaigned as an independent in the 1993 elections, winning a seat in the assembly governing the Sindh province. In 1996, he accused police of unfairly targeting his organization. Several hours after the conference, he was shot and killed along with six supporters during an altercation with the police. Murtaza was killed by police in 1996 in Karachi, during the premiership of his sister, Benazir Bhutto.

Fatima Bhutto (born 29 May 1982) is a young poet, writer and columnist who came to fame after the appearance of her first book, a collection of poems, titled Whispers of the Desert. Fatima was only 15 years old when the collection was published. She is now a columnist for The News in Pakistan. She received notable coverage for her second book. Fatima is the daughter of the Shaheed Murtaza Bhutto. She is the grand-daughter of former Prime Minister, Z.A. Bhutto. Fatima is not known to be very active political worker.  She is however far more active as a political writer and spares no body in criticism. Fatima’s style of writing resembles that of “Arab News” jovial writer Jehad Khazin. Her writings reflect some Pan-Arabism , Liberalism and a lot of multi-directional political sides.

India and Pakistan are ‘siblings’: says Fatima Bhutto

Islamabad (PTI): Describing India and Pakistan as “siblings”, slain former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto’s fiery niece Fatima Bhutto said there was more fortune in peace between the “two sister nations” than war.

“We have, like siblings, more in common than we appreciate and our differences, though vast, are not impossible to overcome.

Continue reading India and Pakistan are ‘siblings’: says Fatima Bhutto

A Review of Fatima Bhutto’s Songs of Blood and Sword – By Saba Imtiaz

The Bhuttos and their books – By Saba Imtiaz

Courtesy: Afpak

Over the past four decades, the name Bhutto has come to symbolize — depending on which version of history you believe — Pakistan. It has become our lot in life to obsess over the Bhuttos, discuss their macabre deaths — Zulfikar was hanged, Shah Nawaz poisoned, Murtaza and Benazir shot — and wonder how many more Bhuttos will come to rule over Pakistan.

Continue reading A Review of Fatima Bhutto’s Songs of Blood and Sword – By Saba Imtiaz

4th April 1979: The Black Day

April 4, 1979 Was The Day When The Founder Of Peoples Party (PPP), Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged at Central jail, Rawalpindi, and he is buried in Village Cemetery at Garhi Khuda Baksh, Larkano, Sindh.

تون ملئين تي ملامت ڪيئي
تڏهن ڦاسي تي چاڙهيو وئين
تون اڀرن جي امامت ڪيئي
تڏهن ڦاسي تي چاڙهيو وئين
تون بگهڙن سان بغاوت ڪيئي
تڏهن ڦاسي تي چاڙهيو وئين
مرڻ کانپوء ڀٽا صاحب
اوهان تي گل رتا هوندا۔
_سرويچ سجاولي۔

You were hanged because you cursed against the mullahs,
You were hanged because you led the weak,
You were hanged because you rebelled against the wolves,
There will always lay the red roses over you, Mr Bhutto,
after your death.
-Sarwech Sujawali., Sindhi poet of people/
Translation by: Hasan Mujtaba.

SONGS OF BLOOD AND SWORD by Fatima Bhutto

– Zulfiqar Halepoto

Despite lot of differences and disagreements with their politics, style of governance and ideology, Sindh has an inimitable relationship with BHUTTOs.

It is either BB (Benazir) Shaheed or Mir (Murtaza) Shaheed; Sindh still enjoys a sentimental and emotional attachment with Bhutto’s, who has buried 4 martyrs in the graveyard of Garhi Khuda Bux.

Have you ever heard from any other political leader of Pakistan, who says that s/he would love to be known as martyr instead of living an illusory life? It is only Bhutto family (whether we like it or not but it is a fact and a great reality).

Last year during my Indian visit, a communist leader of Bengal told me that “lot of revolutionary groups and political parties of sub continent has a long history of martyrs in their struggle against different colonial and dictatorial powers….But Bhutto’s are the only family who has offered 4 martyrs from one compound wall…. This brave example has no match…..”

Continue reading SONGS OF BLOOD AND SWORD by Fatima Bhutto

Fatima Bhutto in Jaipur, India

The pink city

‘Asalam alaikum, Namaste, welcome to the Pink City’ came the voice on the phone line. I had traveled to Jaipur, the heart of Rajasthan in India, to speak at a literary festival and after a long drive from Delhi I was met by a kind and welcoming voice.

India to speak on Pakistan

and to be a conduit for a message other than what we see reported on our country every day — hate. I wanted to speak for what a majority of Pakistanis truly want, inside our borders and outside, peace.

Our countries, India and Pakistan

, are sister nations. We are one half of each genetically and physically. We have, like siblings, more in common than we appreciate and our differences, though vast, are not impossible to overcome. They are barely visible.

In Pakistan, we greet brothers with a hand on the heart or a palm cupped towards to sky. ‘Adab’ we say, respect. Or salam, peace. In India

, friends and strangers alike are met with two hands pressed together at the base of the heart. Namaste in Sanskrit, a joining of the fingers and skin, recognizes a counter divine. I bow to you it means.

The first time I visited India as an adult, I was with one of my best friends Sabeen. Sabeen is as close to a sister as I could get. We lost our fathers together and we became friends through a shared pain and burning desire to see justice in our lifetimes. It’s fitting that we travelled to India two years ago. Sabeen is the ultimate Bollywood devotee. She is not afraid to admit it either. I’m wobbly on that front. I’m difficult and stubborn, Sabeen is temperate and forgiving. I’m veg, she’s non-veg. You get my point here. It was in the passion of bargaining for some trinket or the other that Sabeen huffed at a merchant and said ‘Come on bhai, we’re from Pakistan’. I stared at her in horror. Why was she trying to get us maimed? I shot her angry eyes and clenched my face; surely she would realize that flouting our Pakistani-ness might not be the best way to endear us to our neighbours across the border. I was so wrong. The minute our nationality, our connection, had been revealed the shopkeeper fell over with friendship. He waived the price altogether. It was a small token, but it was as you do with siblings. ‘Welcome’ he said to us. ‘I have family in Karachi

‘ he said next.

There are plenty of tales just like this. When the 2005 earthquake ravaged much of our Northern regions, we were not the only ones to be hit; there were victims on the Indian side too. The Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, whose founding members include Dr Mubashir Hasan, a pioneer and Pakistani treasure, and the brave civil rights activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad initiated joint relief. The Pakistan chapter sent relief aid to the Indian victims of the quake and the Indians sent relief to our devastated and destroyed. The forum is a joining of people’s movements, of their aspirations and dreams for a peaceful future between our two countries. They have come together on resolutions ranging from demilitarization, Kashmir

, and religious intolerance in both countries. Speaking in the early weeks of 2004, Dr Mubashir Hasan outlined fourteen steps for peace the forum advocated to Islamabad and New Delhi:

‘Commit to partnership, equality and mutual respect’

‘Commit to resolving political and other differences through peaceful and democratic means’

‘Recognize the difficulty of modifying historical and public stances on the issue. Understand the imperative of finding and acceptable solutions…strive towards reconciliation and rapprochement’

There is no reconciliation without truth (that’s a direct note to you venal supporters of the mercenary National Reconciliation Ordinance). And here it is — there is more fortune in peace between our two countries than war will ever bring us. We must build bridges between our people, not bombs.

On the drive from Delhi to Jaipur, the only thing that broke the interminable voyage were fields of sarson, yellow buds alive with colour, just like we have in Lahore. Papaya plantations marked a patch of land between the green and yellow of the grassland. I thought of Sindh’s mangoes. I have a sweet tooth myself. India’s batsmen, Pakistan’s bowlers — can you think of a mightier team? Take that, West Indies.

I was accompanied on this most recent trip by another dear friend, Laleh — you may remember her as the Indian who shopped quite liberally on a road trip through the interior of Sindh. I ate Rajasthani thali with Laleh and felt the insides of my head sear with heat from the pepper of the food. We travelled by taxi in the day and passed on one side the pink stucco bricks of Rajput palaces and on the other a crimson red communist flag, sickle and cell flapping in the wind at a traffic light. We didn’t compete over our countries, playing the usual one-upmanship of nation states; instead we traded stories both familiar and unusual about our two homes. I told Laleh about Kot Diji, the fort we had missed on her last trip to Pakistan, and she told me about the Ajanta Alora Caves

, the site we could visit on my next trip to her country.

In all journeys away from our loved ones we discover certain truths. I love Pakistan. I am proud to be a citizen of this country and to be counted among the millions who call this home. That is not my truth, that I’ve always known. On my last night in the pink city, I was watching television. The US Secretary of Defence was ready to send ground troops into Pakistan the headline blared. At that point, our differences became pointless. It was no longer us against each other; there were larger threats now. Siblings, though stymied by rivalries at times and shadowed by each other’s ghosts, are still siblings. They have to protect each other in order to survive. We can’t help our pasts, but we have an amazing opportunity to push for radical change in our futures.

Courtesy- The News, 2/3/2008

Mir Murtaza Bhutto and Fatima Bhutto

mirandfatima.jpg – Mir Murtaza Bhutto

(September 18, 1954- September 20, 1996)

Murtaza Bhtto, the elder son of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was a revolutionary. Bhutto campaigned as an independent in the 1993 elections, winning a seat in the assembly governing the Sindh province. In 1996, he accused police of unfairly targeting his organization. Several hours after the conference, he was shot and killed along with six supporters during an altercation with the police. Murtaza was killed by police in 1996 in Karachi, during the premiership of his sister, Benazir Bhutto.

Fatima Bhutto (born 29 May 1982) is a young poet, writer and columnist who came to fame after the appearance of her first book, a collection of poems, titled Whispers of the Desert. Fatima was only 15 years old when the collection was published.

She is now a columnist for The News in Pakistan. She received notable coverage for her second book. Fatima is the daughter of the Shaheed Murtaza Bhutto. She is the grand-daughter of former Prime Minister, Z.A. Bhutto. Fatima is not known to be very active political worker. She is however far more active as a political writer and spares no body in criticism. Fatima’s style of writing resembles that of “Arab News” jovial writer Jehad Khazin. Her writings reflect some Pan-arabism , Liberalism and a lot of multi-directional political sides.