Karan Thapar opens up about his friendship with Benazir Bhutto in his book, “The Devil’s Advocate”
Benazir Bhutto, two-time Prime Minister of Pakistan was one of the most popular Pakistan’s PM in our country. 27th December marks the 13th death anniversary of Bhutto, who was killed while campaigning for the Pakistan Peoples Party in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. As per the reports, shots were fired during the rally and a suicide bomb was detonated after the shooting. She had survived a similar attack earlier, but this time she was declared dead. Senior journalist Karan Thapar, who shared a strong friendship with Benazir Bhutto has written many interesting things about former Pakistan’s PM in his book, “The Devil’s Advocate.” Today we are going to tell you 5 things that we learned about Benazir Bhutto from Thapar’s book.
1. Benazir Bhutto was a spontaneous and fun person
Karan Thapar has written in his book that Benazir was spontaneous and fun. He shared an incident when they were debating about “sex before marriage”. Benazir was representing Oxford and Karan was representing Cambridge. While she was speaking on the issue, Karan Thapar asked her “I see, madam, that you’re proposing sex before marriage. Would you care to practice what you preach?” Everyone present at the debate laughed. Later Benazir replied, “‘Certainly, but not with you!”. This got an even bigger round of applause.
2. Benazir Bhutto could have resolved the Kashmir issue
Karan Thapar in his book, ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ indicates that Benazir Bhutto could have resolved the Kashmir issue if she would have been alive and become Prime Minister of Pakistan for the third time. Thapar talks about a 2007 interview with her in which she forcefully repeated her commitment to clamp down on all private militia and shut terrorist camps along with the possibility of giving India access to men like Lashkar-e-Taiba supremo Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (responsible for 26/11) and Jaish-e-Mohammad founder Masood Azhar (Pulwama Attack).
It is not easy to handle the pressure of being a daughter of the Prime Minister in Pakistan especially when the father (Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) is taking on the ruling military dictator, Field Marshal Ayub Khan. Benazir was studying in London and so was Thapar. They had met during the debate where members of Oxford Unions were taking on members of Cambridge University. She chose to make Thapar a friend despite knowing that it could be misunderstood and misrepresented in Pakistan against her father and her, during the election. The fact that she still chose to forge a friendship with an Indian, shows that she was gutsy.
4. Remained in exile in London
Given the circumstances in Pakistan, she remained in exile in London. Although she wanted to talk to her friends and relatives as remaining in exile was diminishing the contact with people that she valued. After her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was killed in a coup, she returned to Pakistan and entered politics. Later she became the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
5. She was friendly to both BJP and Congress
Benazir is one of those very few Pakistani leaders who maintained a good relation with Indian politicians and political parties. She had a good relationship with the then Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi from the Congress Party. Later when Bhartiya Janata Party came into power, she forged a link with the Lal Krishna Advani’s family too.
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