Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Tale of Two Sisters

My friend Keith Raffel, to my mind the gold standard of emerging mystery novel writers, has a post on his blog from yesterday about his recollections of Benazir Bhutto, whose assassination last month has thrown Pakistan into political chaos.

Keith and Ms. Bhutto (who was known in those days as "Pinkie") were students at Harvard together, and later at Oxford as well. Keith recounts his memories of her, as well as their loud arguments in his blogpost.

I was an undergrad at Harvard a few years later, and I knew Benazir Bhutto's younger sister Sanam Bhutto, because she dated one of my friends. Sanam's American nickname was "Sonny".

Sanam "Sonny" Bhutto

Where Benazir was passionate about politics, and followed her destiny into that world, Sonny did everything she could to avoid it. Her interests were fashion, jewelry , and looking good. She excelled at all three.

Pinkie followed her destiny, and is dead now, as are Sonny's two brothers, both of whom died under mysterious circumstances. Sonny lives in a very fashionable house in London these days, is probably protected by bodyguards, and has nothing to do with politics.

Which is probably why she is the only child of former Pakistani Prime Minister Ali Bhutto (himself executed in 1979) who is alive today.

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