Review of Daughter Of The East An Autobiography by Benazir Bhutto

From: Zulfiqar Halepoto
Date: Apr 21, 2007 8:26 PM

Review of Daughter Of The East (Revised edition)
An Autobiography by Benazir Bhutto

Dear All

" So far one there is one similarity between Benazir Bhutto and General Musharraf, that is Simon & Schuster, the publisher of the autobiographies of both General Musharaff and Benazir Bhutto. Though Benazir in her latest book criticized the policies of Musharraf but Political environment suggests that there is a possibility of appearance of more similarities in near future"

This is a common comment on the revised edition of Benazir Bhutto's book "Daughter Of The East: An Autobiography" which appeared in Pakistan in the first week of April 2007. This book is published by Simon & Schuster, in April 2007, it is a Paperback edition with 416 pages and new ISBN-13: 978-1-8473-7075-4 with a Price: £12.99

First edition of the book was released in 1988 and after 18 years the new one is appeared having two new chapters are included in the book with a fresh new preface.

How to review this book…???

This book can be reviewed through host of locale and aspects, one could be technical, second can be sentimental and emotional and the third one certainly the political debate initiated by Benazir Bhutto.

Technical Side:

The elementary definition of a revision of an account in the shape of a book is that in the revised edition there should be omission and deletion of the errors of the facts, removal of the grammar and spelling mistakes, erasure of any contradictory viewpoint or opinion or some addition to the previous argument. On the contrary the first edition material was reproduced as it is. The publisher used a high quality scanning process and it did not bother to even re-compose the entire draft. Subsequently, as a result there is a clear contrast in the color scheme of the previous book chapters and the new material) two chapter and preface).

I wonder how an international publisher, who must be having a quality control assessment panel and board of editors have allowed to do this. So if review the book and starts from technical side, there are lot of mistakes and errors in the book.

Sentimental and Emotional Side:

The preface of the book is dominated by the emotional and sentimental expression by MBB. Though there is a comprehensive debate on the local, national, regional and international socio-economic and political issues but every time the pen or the though of the writer goes to the points of emotional miseries and sentimental exploitation done by various forces to her.

She is very bold in her preface; very courageous while talking about how even her pregnancy was exploited as political tool against her during the elections of 1988 and second time during her Premier Ship by the IJI.

She is very brave while she narrates that how rigid and anti-human tactics used by military dictators, anti women mindset and the agencies like MI and ISI to break her moral and political valor.

Being a writer I feel in every sentence that the exile is the greatest pain. Talking too much about her/himself is a typical state of mind, which shows that some one is lost and in this preface, in every sentence she is trying to locate herself. A writer and artist can only understand this feeling.

Matter in new chapters:

In the last two chapters she has exposed every evil force of status quo and rigidity.
Both the chapters are excellent having merits and demerits.
She has talked about every possible issue related to Pakistan's politics, geo-strategic future, peace and terrorism, future policy discourses in terms of good foreign relationship with the neighbor state specially with India. Kashmir Policy etc.

She has talked about US influence in South Asia, Talibanisation of the region, future of democracy and progressive forces in Pakistan.
She has condemned the role of MQM for turning Pakistan's politics in to the politics of terrorism and violence; she heavily criticized Musharraf for converting Pakistani society in to a conservative and Taliban society and doing the crime of de-politicize the entire culture and People.

She talked open about the role of agencies in toppling her governments, especially ISI. She criticized the "conservative" role of Nawaz Sharif when he wanted to become "Ameer-ul_Momneen" of Pakistan

One clear massage form is the book is that she will never compromise with Musharraf at any cost.

Why this book was re-printed with additional stuff…???

When you will finish the book your mind will ask lot of question about this quick re-print of the book. `After reading the book I assumed host of reasons

Commercial Reason: Looking at thousand of sterling pounds sale of Musharraf's autobiography, the publisher wanted to have another bestseller in the catalogue.

Political and Diplomatic Reason: Musharraf may be successfully gave impression to the west that he is the force, which is fighting against terrorism and religious extremism in the region. This revised edition by MBB is an attempt to over-come that fake and fabricated claims of Musharraf, who in fact damaged the progressive and liberal posture of our society and as military dictator ruined the institutions specially the institution of democracy.
Few major important political changes are expected in near future and through this book MBB wants to send a clear message that PPP is the only (which is a fact) democratic and progressive force in Pakistan, which can handle all kinds of crisis and conflicts.

Missing Points:

She talked about various controversies specially the promotion of Musharraf and his alleged links with "terrorist" MQM, she also talked in detail about the "stupid idea" of General Aslam Baig, Musharraf and the than ISI head to Takeover Srinagar but she did not disclosed that who killed Meer Murtaza???

Lot of external factors are narrated by Benazir Bhutto which were responsible for her ouster and other damages to her family, party leadership and politics, but surprisingly she did not utter a single "Internal" factor, which were equally responsible for her consequent dismissals.

Any it is good account at good time, specially a reply to Musharraf's fake and false claims to be the "sole spokesperson" of enlightenment, democracy and the only "superman" fighting against terrorism and Alqaida.

Zulfiqar Halepoto