Benazir Bhutto: The Exile's Return

Benazir Bhutto: her history, life story and her return to from exile to Pakistan.

By Amy Wilentz
Illustration by Chang Park
"He’s had heart problems; he’s got diabetes." Also, of course, the threat of further imprisonment for Zardari could be used to tie her hands politically.She’s reading a novel now about Catherine de’ Medici. "It’s amazing how everyone around her died," she says. "How she must have suffered! But life is full of suffering. It’s the moments in between that count: your kid getting into college, your husband surprising you with a gift. I just hope life will continue with its hurly-burly.""Hurly-burly" should certainly be on the list of things Bhutto can expect upon her return to Pakistan.But I feel, as I’m leaving, that perhaps Bhutto’s life — for all the staff and assistants — is a little lonely.She has spent the past decade flying around the world, keeping her name alive and, essentially, plotting her return. Her father is dead, her mother is ill, her brothers are dead, her husband is a liability, and two of her children are already in college.She asks me whether I can stay for dinner, but I have a plane to catch. As we walk out to my waiting car, it’s quiet except for the hum of traffic on a not-too-distant highway. Narmeen has gone to check on Aseefa, ostensibly studying in her room upstairs. My car pulls away, and I see Bhutto’s imposing figure in her shalwar kamiz, silhouetted by the yellow light in her doorway. She gives me a little wave, and I think to myself, soon she’ll be waving to millions.For more on the political situation in Pakistan:New York Times BBC News Dawn (Pakistan English-language daily) Author Amy Wilentz at Huffington Post Originally published in MORE magazine, December/January 2008.

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