Fatima Bhuttos book Songs of Blood and Sword has generated some controversy. I am loath to adding anything to the controversy for the simple reason that Fatima seems totally impervious to the reverence and love which the vast majority of Pakistanis, including people like myself, have for Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his family. It pains me to even talk about Fatima Bhutto or her book but I find it incumbent to set the record straight in so far as it relates to me or to the facts personally known to me. Fatima sought an interview with me. I welcomed her to my home and embraced her with the love and affection that I have always had and continue to have for all members of the Bhutto family. She was over one and a half, may be two hours with me. We had what I thought was a very congenial meeting. I am therefore horrified to read her account of this meeting on pages 228-229 of her book. That she should have found the experience a 'nightmare is a revelation for me and Sohail Sethi who has also known me and who was present should. If he has the courage, he would bear me out. Just because someone does not agree with Fatimas world view does not give her the right to berate and ridicule that person. She has not named me and I do not see why as I did not place any restriction on being named. But she refers to me as a woman who made a career out of her friendship, even serving in parliament during Benazirs first term in power. I do not claim fame but even the few people who know me would testify to the falsehood of this defamatory statement. I served in Parliament during Benazir Bhuttos first government not because I was a friend of Benazir Bhuttos but because I was nominated for a reserved seat by the Central Executive Committee on the basis of my role in the PPP during General Zias dictatorship. I did not apply for this seat. My husband was counsel for Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in the Supreme Court and was a close and trusted confidante of Begum Nusrat Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. This relationship was sacred to us and still is to this day and we have never cashed upon it on anyway. I consider myself privileged to have been close to and to have served Zulfikar Ali Bhuttos family. In fact when Mir Murtaza Bhutto returned to Pakistan, both my husband and I were in Karachi to receive him and even subsequently went to Karachi on several occasions to be present at his court hearings. Both my husband and I had dinner with Mir Murtaza Bhutto at Mr Bashir Riazs Islamabad residence a couple of days before the horrible carnage in Karachi in which he lost his life and which devastated us all. In so far as my meeting with Fatima Bhutto goes, the discussion initially was about what she termed as the ethnic cleansing of the Mohajirs by Benazir Bhuttos government. I tried to explain to her what is my considered opinion on the issue even as of now, that the action initiated by General Naseerullah Babar was a counter to the reign of terror unleashed by a political party created by Bhuttos persecutors to undermine the PPP in Sindh. It was a necessity and could not be dubbed as ethnic cleansing. The discussion then turned to Benazir Bhutto. I did not and still do not agree that Benazir Bhutto changed after coming into government. Benazir Bhutto was a leader of international repute. She fought courageously against Zias martial law. She suffered incarceration and great hardship and she always maintained her dignity. Keeping Pakistans largest political party alive against the intrigues of the establishment was not easy. Politics, especially in Pakistan is not for the faint-hearted, or for the idealists. Benazir Bhutto through her life waged a solitary battle to keep the PPP intact and in that process she learnt how to cope with intrigues and to best her foes. She had to, in order to survive. It was in the context of the oppositions negative role that I told Fatima Bhutto that when we first went into Parliament we were novices and had no experience in parliamentary politics while the opposition having been inducted through the Majlis-e-Shura were old hands at filibustering. Their sole object was to make Benazir Bhutto fail. Benazir Bhutto too was the victim of the same forces who eliminated Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Shahnawaz Bhutto and Mir Murtaza Bhutto. I tried to explain this to Fatima. What she has reproduced is a distorted version in which her sole aim appears to be to make me sound frivolous and stupid and thus hit back at Benazir Bhutto. I am not given to fluttering my eyes and I never laugh leave alone heartily when I talk of Benazir Bhutto. The wound is too raw. Fatimas allegation that Benazir Bhutto had exulted at the Kabul hijacking is a blatant untruth. I would like Fatima to name one person to whom the jubilant phone calls were made. Benazir blanched when we heard that news. She was fearful for her brothers safety. Benazir Bhutto did not believe in an armed struggle and to say otherwise is false. But stating this fact does not mean that Mir Murtaza Bhutto who subscribed to the concept of an armed struggle against dictatorship was a terrorist. I have at no point in my life thought of Mir Murtaza Bhutto as a terrorist. Fatimas allegation that Benazir Bhutto was somehow responsible for Shahnawaz Bhuttos death or that she worked in collusion with CIA and Pakistani Intelligence service is outrageous. Since these allegations have been attributed to a French lawyer, one wonders what prompted this lawyer to say these things. I think what Fatima and the lawyer to whom the remarks are attributed seem to forget that at the time of Shahnawaz Bhuttos death Benazir Bhutto was in exile and therefore one fails to understand how her power was based on approval of the CIA and Pakistani Intelligence services, given that she had no power. When she came into power, it was through elections which too were rigged against her. Benazir Bhutto adored her younger brother and those of us who lived the tragedy with her when she brought her brothers body back for burial in their ancestral graveyard at Garhi Khuda Buksh know what agony she lived through. Since I translated the transcripts of case proceedings from French for Benazir Bhutto, I can tell her that the Afghan aunt whom Fatima would now like to exonerate now of all culpability prepared an omelet and ate it while her husband lay dying or dead.