Fatima Bhutto

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Fatima Bhutto
فاطمہ بھٹو
Fatima bhutto.jpg
Born Fatima Bhutto
(1982-05-29) 29 May 1982 (age 35)
Kabul, Afghanistan
Residence Karachi, Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Alma mater Barnard College
SOAS, University of London
Occupation Writer, columnist, journalist
Relatives Bhutto family
Website http://www.fatimabhutto.com/

Fatima Murtaza Bhutto (Urdu: فاطمہ مُرتضیٰ بھُٹّو‎; born 29 May 1982) is a Pakistani poet and writer. Born in Kabul, she is the granddaughter of Prime Minister Zulfikar, niece of Prime Minister Benazir and the daughter of Murtaza, all three of whom were murdered or executed.[1][2]

Bhutto was raised in Syria and Karachi and received her B.A from Barnard College followed by an M.A from SOAS where she wrote her dissertation on the resistance movement in Pakistan.[3][4][5] Bhutto came to public note at the age of 15 after the publication of her first book, a collection of poems, Whispers of the Desert, while her most notable work is her 2010 non-fiction book Songs of Blood and Sword.[6][7] Bhutto has written for The News, New York Times, among others.[8][9][10][11]

Personal life[edit]


Bhutto was born on 29 May 1982 to Murtaza Bhutto and an Afghan mother, Fauzia Fasihudin Bhutto, the daughter of Afghanistan's former foreign affairs official in Kabul.[2] Her father was in exile during the military regime of general Zia-ul-Haq. Her parents divorced when she was three years old and her father took Bhutto with him moving from country to country and she grew up effectively stateless. Her father met Ghinwa Bhutto, a Lebanese ballet teacher in 1989 during his exile in Syria and they married. Bhutto considers Ghinwa to be her real mother and political mentor. She is the granddaughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Nusrat Bhutto, an Iranian Kurd, niece of Benazir Bhutto, Shahnawaz Bhutto and Sanam Bhutto, and cousin of Bilawal Zardari, Bakhtawar Zardari and Asifa Zardari.[2][12]

Her father was killed by the police in 1996 in Karachi during the premiership of his sister, Benazir Bhutto, and her mother unsuccessfully attempted to gain parental custody of Bhutto.[2] She lives with her stepmother and her half-brother Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Jr.[13] in Old Clifton, Karachi.[2]



Bhutto completed her B.A. degree in Middle Eastern studies[14] from Barnard College, Columbia University[4][15] in Manhattan, USA, after receiving her secondary education at the Karachi American School. She received a master's degree in South Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.[16]


Following the assassination of her aunt, Benazir Bhutto, there was speculation over her entrance into politics. In an interview, she has stated that for now she prefers to remain active through her activism and writing, rather than through elected office[2] and that she has to "rule a political career out entirely because of the effect of dynasties on Pakistan" referring to the Bhutto family dynasty and its ties to Pakistani politics. Although Bhutto is politically active, she is not affiliated with any political party.[17] She also expressed great sadness at her estranged aunt, Benazir Bhutto's death.[18] Her stepmother is heading the PPP-SB.


The title of Bhutto's book 8.50 a.m. 8 October 2005[19] marks the moment of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake; it records accounts of those affected. She has also written a book of poetry, Whispers in the Desert. A memoir, Songs Of Blood And Sword, was published in April 2010. The Shadow Of The Crescent Moon, her fiction debut, was published in November 2013.[20] Her latest work of fiction — a short story titled Democracy was published in February 2015.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fatima's Book on Quake Victims Launched". The Nation. Pakistan. 14 September 2006. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Walsh, Declan (11 January 2008). "The Broken Bloodline". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "SOAS on brand wagon". www.telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  4. ^ a b Zia, Urooj (15 September 2006). "Don't look back in anger, look forward with hope, urges Fatima". Daily Times. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  5. ^ "The broken bloodline". The Guardian. 2008-01-10. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  6. ^ Walsh, Declan (2010-04-29). "Bhutto memoir provokes angry reaction in Pakistan". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  7. ^ "Fatima Bhutto: A beauty to tame George Clooney – and even Pakistan?". Daily Telegraph. 15 February 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  8. ^ Bhutto, Fatima (2015-03-17). "Fatima Bhutto: Don’t Execute Shafqat Hussain". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  9. ^ "Fatima launches her innings as Bhutto's struggle for political survival". Pakistan: The Nation. 27 January 2006. Archived from the original on 11 March 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "Fatima Bhutto:Writer - The News International: Latest News Breaking, Pakistan News". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  11. ^ Goodman, Amy (19 February 2008). "Outspoken Niece of Benazir Bhutto Accuses Aunt's Party of Fraud in Pakistani Elections". Democracy Now!. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  12. ^ Langley, William. (15 February 2009) Fatima Bhutto: A beauty to tame George Clooney – and even Pakistan?. Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved on 2016-12-31.
  13. ^ Fletcher, Hannah (28 December 2007). "Who's who in the Bhutto dynasty". The Times. London. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  14. ^ Page, Jeremy (12 January 2008). "'Real' Bhutto heir denounces family business". The Times. London. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  15. ^ Resmovits, Joy (29 November 2007). "Bhutto Sees Politics, Pakistan Firsthand". Columbia Daily Spectator. New York. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  16. ^ "Fatima Bhutto receives Masters Degree". Pakistan Press International. 16 December 2005. Archived from the original on 2 January 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  17. ^ SONGS OF CORRUPTION: Christian Parenti with Fatima Bhutto. The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved on 31 December 2016.
  18. ^ THE LAST WORD ‘I Loved Benazir’ – An interview with Fatima Bhutto 6 December 2010 in Newsweek Pakistan
  19. ^ Bhutto, Fatima. "Fatima Bhutto". Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  20. ^ Bhutto, Fatima (April 2010). Songs of blood and sword: a daughter's memoir (Biography). New York: Nation Books. ISBN 978-1-56858-632-8. OCLC 535492005. Retrieved 13 October 2010. "Fatima Bhutto: Songs of Blood and Sword" (Video). Seattle: Pirate Television. 11 October 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2010. 
  21. ^ Zubair, Hamna (29 March 2015). "Rehashing the predictable: Review of Democracy by Fatima Bhutto". www.dawn.com. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 

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