We are posting two reviews of the new book on Benazir Bhutto authored by Shyam Bhatia. The first is a critical, crisp impression of M.A. Soofi; and the other is by the legendary Khushwant Singh who discusses wider issues such as corruption comparisons between India and Pakistan and apparently believes whatever Bhatia has written despite the condemnation from late Bhutto’s spokesperson.
Mayank Austen Soofi: An Indian journalist’s sleazy biography of Benazir Bhutto.
Petty games people play. Indian journalist Mr. Shyam Bhatia who had known Ms. Benazir Bhutto since her student days in Oxford, during the 70s, have penned a quickie biography of Pakistan’s late prime minister. He has accused her of smuggling nuclear secrets to North Korea during a state visit to Pyongang by carrying CDs containing data about uranium enrichment in an overcoat “with deepest possible pockets”.
That’s just the most serious charge in this thin, seemingly hurriedly written book that has little flair for fine writing and hardly any consideration for credible sources to back up its wild claims.
Mr. Bhatia calls the young Ms. Bhutto a ‘self-obsessed’ girl with legendary tantrums who would throw “ashtrays like flying saucers at the servants” in ancestral home at Larkana.
Indeed, his Benazir-at-Oxford emerges as quite a flamboyant woman who drove a yellow MG sports car, dunked down white wine, and had a “myriad of mostly white boyfriends.” However, Mr. Bhatia soon contradicts himself by claiming that Ms. Bhutto was madly in love with “two extremely handsome Pakistani students” who (here’s the cake) “firmly rebuffed marital enquiries on her part”.
In this breezy breathless portrayal of Benazir’s young days, Mr. Bhatia hasn’t inserted any footnotes to add to the credibility of his ‘accusations’.
There’s more. Continue reading