Benazir: I didn’t choose this life, it chose me

Benazir Bhutto in the preface to the second edition of her autobiography, Daughter of the East in April this year:

“I didn’t choose this life, it chose me. Born in Pakistan, my life mirrors its turbulence, its tragedies and its triumphs. Pakistan is no ordinary country. And mine has been no ordinary life.

“I know that I am a symbol of what the so-called Jihadists, Taliban and al-Qaeda, most fear,. I am a female political leader fighting to bring modernity, communication, education and technology to Pakistan.”

Last month, a BBC World Service compared Benazir Bhutto to the Burmese leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi, two Asian women whose fathers were politicians. But the historian Ramachandra Guha punctured the argument in The Telegraph, Calcutta. Benazir chose to live in exile in luxury, he wrote, Suu Kyi stayed put and roughed it out. Benazir asks what her country can do for her, Suu Kyi asks what she can do for her country.

“While Suu Kyi has a principled commitment to non-violence and to democratic procedure, Benazir has a rather opportunist approach to power and authority. The words that come to mind when describing the great Burmese freedom-fighter are courageous, honest, decent, principled, democratic. On the other hand, the career and credo of the Pakistani politician can be summed up in the words vain, disingenuous, delusional, ambitious, demagogic.”

Read the full article: RAMACHANDRA GUHA on Benazir Bhutto