Fatima Bhutto, niece of Pakistan’s former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, and daughter of Mir Murtaza Bhutto, spoke at the Asia Society in New York City on Friday, September 24 to promote her new book, Songs of Blood and Sword: A Daughter’s Memoir (published by Nation Books). Bhutto, an acclaimed Pakistani writer and poet, employed a journalistic approach in Songs of Blood and Sword to understand the circumstances of her father’s assassination in 1996 by state police outside his home, while his family anxiously waited inside for him to return. In 2007, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the woman Fatima had publicly accused of ordering her father’s murder, was assassinated in Rawalpindi.
Despite being at risk of violence herself, Fatima told audience members at the Asia Society that she refuses to leave Pakistan because she does not want to make things easier for the current president, Asif Ali Zardari, and the corrupt Pakistani military. In this clip, Bhutto stands on the street in Pakistan where her father was shot and describes his murder. She explains that writing her memoir “was the only way that I could seek some justice for my family—for this family that has lost its sons and its daughters and its children…to a violence that will never be brought to justice by the state that employs it.”