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Fatima Bhutto criticises Benazir

October 22, 2007

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KARACHI, Oct 21: Benazir Bhutto must take the responsibility for the deaths of 139 people in an attack on her homecoming rally by exposing them to danger for the sake of her own ‘personal theatre’, her estranged niece said.

Fatima Bhutto, the granddaughter of late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, also told AFP in an interview that her aunt’s return from exile would plunge the country further into turmoil.

“She insisted on this grand show, she bears a responsibility for these deaths and for these injuries,” the 25-year-old said at her family home in Karachi.

Fatima Bhutto, the daughter Murtaza Bhutto, who was killed by police in Karachi in 1996, has recently launched a series of salvos against her aunt.

She accused the PPP chairperson of protecting herself on her return to Pakistan with an armoured truck, while bussing in hundreds of thousands of supporters despite warnings of an attack.

“They died for this personal theatre of hers, they died for this personal show,” she said.

Speaking in a sitting room decked with oil paintings of her grandfather, father and other family members — although not her aunt — she also said her aunt was not the enemy of militancy that she claimed to be.

“She talks about extremism and nobody else points out that the Taliban was created under her last government,” she said, referring to the Taliban regime that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001.

Fatima also condemned the amnesty on corruption charges given to Ms Bhutto by Gen Musharraf.

The younger Bhutto, however, said she was not likely to enter Pakistan’s turbulent politics any time soon.—AFP