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Some gems from Jemima

The London-based socialite wins the coveted honour thanks to her comment on the leadership issue that confronts the PPP after Benazir Bhutto’s death.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2008 19:08 IST

Some people have an all-consuming desire to rule public memory, even if it means commenting on matters way out of their league. The top prize in this foot-in-the-mouth category goes to Imran Khan’s former wife, Jemima. The London-based socialite, whose only association with Pakistan was her short-lived marriage to the cricketer, wins the coveted honour thanks to her comment on the leadership issue that confronts the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) after Benazir Bhutto’s death.

Jemima, who last year led protests in London demanding the lifting of emergency and the release of all political prisoners, including Imran, told reporters that Benazir’s niece Fatima Bhutto, and not her son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, should lead the PPP. Asked the reason for this choice, she said, “It helps, in a lookist society, that she’s also as beautiful as her aunt — a young Salma Hayek lookalike — and has similar tragic appeal: orphaned, like most Bhuttos, as a result of a political assassination”. Lookist? Rich coming from the fetching Jemima, in the news earlier for being Hugh Grant’s arm candy. The comments would irritate if they were not so amusing. Her remarks on Pakistani politics fill us with wonder because, if we believe Imran, Jemima left the country because his “political life made it difficult for her to adapt to life in Pakistan”. And need we remind her that Pakistani politics is a tad more complex than deciding which designer outfit to wear to which club.

Leading a protest against President Musharraf in the safety of London may be easy. But trying to be an armchair politician sits ill on Ms Khan, whose searing intellect we have seen in her schoolgirlish essays on subcontinental politics when she was still married to Imran. Or, is this a calculated move charted by Mr Khan himself to stay afloat in Pakistan politics? We await Ms Khan’s next salvo with bated breath.