Fatima Bhutto

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Fatima Bhutto
فاطمہ بھٹو
Fatima bhutto.jpg
Born (1982-05-29) 29 May 1982 (age 36)
Kabul, Afghanistan
OccupationWriter, columnist
ResidenceKarachi, Pakistan
Alma materBarnard College[1]
SOAS, University of London
RelativesBhutto family

Fatima Bhutto (Urdu: فاطمہ بھُٹّو‎; born 29 May 1982) is a Pakistani writer. Born in Kabul, she is daughter of Murtaza Bhutto, niece of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and granddaughter of former Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.[2] She is a critic of her aunt Benazir Bhutto and her husband Asif Ali Zardari, whom she accused of being involved in her father's murder.[3][4]

Bhutto was raised in Syria and Karachi and received her B.A from Barnard College followed by an M.A from SOAS.[5] Her most notable work is her 2010 non-fiction book about her family, Songs of Blood and Sword.[6] .Bhutto has written for The News, New York Times, among others.[7][8][9]

Early 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 as her real mother. She is the granddaughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Nusrat Bhutto, an Iranian Kurd, niece of Benazir Bhutto.[2][10]

Her father was killed by the police in 1996 in Karachi during the premiership of his sister, Benazir Bhutto. Her biological mother Fauzia Fasihudin unsuccessfully tried to gain parental custody of Bhutto.[2] She lives with her stepmother and her half-brother Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Jr.[11] in Old Clifton, Karachi.[2]


Bhutto received her secondary education at the Karachi American School. She graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University with a B.A. degree majoring in Middle Eastern and Asian languages and cultures.[12] She received a master's degree in South Asian Studies from the SOAS, University of London, where she wrote her dissertation on the resistance movement in Pakistan.[13]



In 1998, at the age of 15, Bhutto published her first book named Whispers of The Desert. Her second book "8.50 a.m. 8 October 2005" marks the moment of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake; it records accounts of those affected.[14]

In 2010 her family memoir Songs of Blood and Sword was published with acclaim. In the book Bhutto accuses her aunt Benazir and her husband Asif Zardari for killing her father Murtaza. The book got mixed to negative review from critics for being biased on history of her family.[15] Several family members have accused her of falsifying information.[16]

In November 2013, her first fictional novel The Shadow Of The Crescent Moon published. The book had long-listed in 2014 for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.[17] In 2015 Bhutto's short story titled Democracy, an e-book, under Penguin Books was released.[18]

Bhutto's latest novel The Runaways is published by Penguin Viking.[19]


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.[20]

Personal life[edit]

About her religious faith, Bhutto said at an interview, that she is not religious and describes herself as a secularist.[21] Though Bhutto has many time defended Islam and supported Muslim women's right to choose their dress.[22][23]


  1. ^ Three Barnard alumnae nominated for Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Barnard College
  2. ^ a b c d e f Walsh, Declan (11 January 2008). "The Broken Bloodline". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  3. ^ Benazir covered up my father's murder, says Fatima Bhutto– The Hindu
  4. ^ Benazir, the PM, was cruel: Fatima Bhutto– NDTV
  5. ^ "SOAS on brand wagon". www.telegraphindia.com. 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. ^ Bhutto, Fatima (2015-03-17). "Fatima Bhutto: Don't Execute Shafqat Hussain". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Langley, William. (15 February 2009) Fatima Bhutto: A beauty to tame George Clooney – and even Pakistan?. Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved on 2016-12-31.
  11. ^ Fletcher, Hannah (28 December 2007). "Who's who in the Bhutto dynasty". The Times. London. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  12. ^ Resmovits, Joy (29 November 2007). "Bhutto Sees Politics, Pakistan Firsthand". Columbia Daily Spectator. New York. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  13. ^ "Fatima Bhutto receives Masters Degree". Pakistan Press International. 16 December 2005. Archived from the original on 2 January 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  14. ^ A novel approach Telegraph India
  15. ^ Daughter of dynasty–TOI
  16. ^ Zulfikar's daughter, nephew dispute claim in Fatima's book – The Hindu
  17. ^ Fatima Bhutto nominated for fiction prize Dawn
  18. ^ Zubair, Hamna (29 March 2015). "Rehashing the predictable: Review of Democracy by Fatima Bhutto". www.dawn.com. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  19. ^ Pakistani author Fatima Bhutto to come out with new novel. Here's when you buy it Hindustan Times
  20. ^ SONGS OF CORRUPTION: Christian Parenti with Fatima Bhutto. The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved on 31 December 2016.
  21. ^ Fatima Bhutto's interview in Italy Youtube
  22. ^ Fatima Bhutto: “The Islam that I know gives women a lot of rights” Vogue
  23. ^ Fatima Bhutto: “Everyone connects the burqa to oppression, but this isn’t the full story” Verdict

External links[edit]