Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, the elder daughter of slain former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto and President Asif Ali Zardari, is quietly documenting her pain in the world of music.
While her fiery cousin Fatima Bhutto makes headlines by her memoir on the Bhutto dynasty, Bakhtawar has released nine songs, mostly in her mother’s memory, and one on the many dead members of the Bhutto family. Bakhtawar’s musical talent first got noticed when she released a song, I’ll take the pain away, on the internet on her mother’s first death anniversary.
A student at Edinburgh University, Bakhtawar, 20, wrote on her webpage: “It (music) is my diary and medium of releasing my thoughts. Something completely personal, if you like it — that’s good, if you can relate — that’s better... It’s real words, through real roots and real emotion, I’m not getting paid and being forced to write subjects I don’t relate to. Music to me is not to impress anyone with latest trends or styles.”
The fourth generation of Bhuttos is not on good terms because Fatima blames Benazir and Zardari for her father Murtaza Bhutto’s murder. However, both Fatima and Bakhtawar seem to be documenting their pain — one for her dead father by writing and the other for her mother by singing.
Bakhtawar, who claims to be a self-taught musician, is conscious of not exploiting her famous surname, just like her cousin Fatima. She does not hire any studios to record her songs, which are done on a microphone and a laptop.
She has had offers to release her tracks but has no intentions of cutting a record. “Nope. That was never my intention for producing tracks. I have been offered a few times — whether this was to do with talent or my surname — I’m not sure, but I’ve always declined.