17 April, 2021

I'll Miss You, Bibi

A typical Gemini, she had distinct public and private personas

I'll Miss You, Bibi

"I want to go back to Pakistan. My party needs me. I know it's a huge risk. My children need me too. So does my mother. If they arrest me, throw me in jail, who knows even poison me...if something happens to me, who will take care of my children and my mother?" This was a prescient, angst-ridden Benazir Bhutto in 2002, pulled in different directions. She could hear destiny calling but was bound by her duty to her family. She spoke frankly about the all-too-real risks of tackling Musharraf's Pakistan head-on when the pressure from her party workers to return and lead the charge against the military government was mounting. However, in public all she would say—repeatedly—was that the party would decide when the time was right for her return, reflecting the Gemini-esque dichotomy between a very private woman who shared confidences in a constant stream of SMSes or long, late-night telephone calls and the very public persona who always said and did the right thing.

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