It’s my right to criticise Pakistan because I love it: Fatima Bhutto

Pakistani author interviewed in The Tribune

fatima_bhuttoNot soon after her much-criticised interview, in which she claimed that eating in restaurants and lingering in bookstores are “forbidden luxuries” in Pakistan, appeared in the London Evening Standard, Fatima Bhutto spoke at the London School of Economics (LSE) to a full house about her new book, titled The Shadow of the Crescent Moon. Waziristan, a region the host of the event described as a twilight zone between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and one that is in the news for all the wrong reasons, is the setting of her latest novel.

Commenting that being on a book tour is what she imagines being a prisoner of war feels like (being shunted from room to room and interrogated with the same questions) Fatima said that she wanted to write about northern Pakistan but did not choose Peshawar, Bajaur or Banu as these were settings that had too many prejudices, such as the Taliban and drones, attached with them. Thus, she picked the small town of Mir Ali, albeit a highly fictionalised one, as the setting, for she felt it did not already have a singular meaning attached to it.

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