She is 27, serious-minded and is still haunted by the violent death of her adored father. After her aunt, Benazir, was killed, Fatima Bhutto described the Greek tragedy that the Bhutto dynasty had become: “It seems like every 10 years we bury a Bhutto killed violently and way before their time.” In her new book on her famous, famously tragic family, Fatima is critical of Benazir’s widower, President Asif Ali Zardari. She talks to TOI about the current “dangers of living in Pakistan”.

The first reference you make to Asif Ali Zardari, president of Pakistan, is “my aunt’s oleaginous husband”. The relationship may be bitter, but surely he couldn’t be that bad if your book is allowed to be published and you live reasonably comfortably in Pakistan?

I think the book clearly discusses the violence and intimidation used by Zardari. I’m not living ‘reasonably comfortably’ in Pakistan, I live on the street where my father and six other men were gunned down. I cross that street every time I leave my house. The book isn’t published in Pakistan, it’s published in India. There is no Urdu translation of the book. Do I have to die to convince you of the dangers of living in Pakistan?

Could you ever see a Barack Obama taking office in Pakistan?

What do you mean? Someone of mixed race? Someone born in Indonesia? Someone who graduated from Harvard?

What would a Pakistani Obama, a changemaker sans a political dynasty, need to do to take the country forward? What is the most pressing item for reform?

There are many pressing issues. The removal of the NRO, the National Reconciliation Ordinance, which legitimizes the corruption of the country’s politicians and celebrates the graft of the nation’s most powerful by placing them above the law has to be removed if we are to have a just country. Ditto the Hudood Ordinances, which are the most violent pieces of legislation against women and minorities.

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Don’t you think it’s time Pakistan conducted real land reform and ended a feudal economy?

The last proper land reforms held were under my grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, so yes I do.

Would you support land reform even if it meant the loss of your financial security?

I’m a writer. That’s my financial security. Land reforms would mean agricultural development which would mean more produce per acre, they are absolutely needed.

Is it not the feudal economy that supports Pakistan’s feudal politics?

There are feudal politics here, there are oligarchical politics, military politics, and the politics that run at the behest of the United States of America. That’s the kind that runs Pakistan today.