By Utpal Borpujari
Fiercely critical of the continuing American drone attacks on the northern tribal areas of Pakistan, prominent political commentator and Bhutto family scion Fatima Bhutto has blamed US’ interference for the continuance of India-Pakistan problems as well as the dropping of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.
“The history of American involvement in Pakistan involves playing Pakistan against India. They give both of us money, they take away money from one, and threaten the other. First we had to British, who divided and ruled us, and now we have the Americans,” Bhutto told Deccan Herald in an exclusive interview here on Saturday.
In the country on a multi-city tour to launch and promote Songs of Blood and Sword, a book which explores the Bhutto family saga, particularly the assassination of her father Mir Murtaza Bhutto during the Prime Ministership of her aunt Benazir Bhutto, the young author-columnist is of the view that the gas pipeline could have been a major catalyst in brining peace.
“Not only America has interfered in Pakistan but America has interfered in Pakistan and India issues. The gas pipeline is a very important thing for peace, but America does not want India and Pakistan to be at peace. So, they come and interfere with India, and they go and interfere with Pakistan. They have stopped it. This is what apparently America does everywhere,” she says.
Bhutto says that the US uses its influence in the region to keep the two neighbours on the edge against each other, and that the governments of the two countries have always played along.
“If you put a Pakistani and an Indian in a room, they are the friendliest people on earth. They share the same culture, the same language, the same food, and cricket. But the governments make it very hard for them to meet each other. It’s in our interest to make peace, it’s totally in the interest of our economy, our peoples to make peace. But governments of course have different agendas,” she says.
Blaming the US for invading her country’s sovereignty by regularly making the drone attacks that has allegedly killed scores of innocent children and women, she quotes Arundhati Roy to say that “the drones are the perfect weapons to fight the poor, who have no chance to fight back.”
“This is an incredible attack on the sovereignty for Pakistan. Imaging having a foreign country coming whenever it likes and bombing your country. It’s a great pain to see this happen to your country, a country that you love,” she says.