Thursday, January 03, 2008

Benazir Bhutto - The Economist's obituary

Even in its dotage, The Economist does a very good job on obituaries.

I learned more about Benazir Bhutto, and Pakistan, from their one page obit than I have from dozens of newspaper stories and blog postings.

Benazir Bhutto |

... Benazir straddled three very different worlds. One was a feudal fief: her family's land in Sindh province. As a child, she loved to hear the story of how Charles Napier, the British conqueror of Sindh, had in 1843 marvelled at the extent of the Bhutto holdings. After her father's death, she found herself on the ancestral turf adjudicating over marital disputes among local villagers as if they were her serfs. When she married, it was an arranged match, with a Sindhi bigwig, Asif Ali Zardari, whom she described in her autobiography as “the heir to the chiefdom of the 100,000-strong Zardari tribe”. When they met in London, he wooed her with crates of mangoes from Fortnum & Mason, and marrons glacés. They had three children, and she was fiercely loyal to him, even after friends as well as foes came to regard him as sleazy and corrupt...

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