Asian delights : Daughter of the East

In an exclusive interview she gave at her Rawalpindi office, Pakistan's prime minister Benazir Bhutto drawed a picture of a humane and tolerant Islam in a democratic Pakistan. It was the first interview she granted after being sworn in as the new chief of government, and it was full of symbolic for that matter. For almost twelve years, her country had suffered under the military dictatorship of general Zia ul Hacq, the man who had deposed her father Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto - the last democratically elected president of Pakistan at that time. From the office where I could interview her, Benazir Bhutto looked down on the Rawalpindi prison where her father was hanged by the rebellious military. Not only was she the first democratically elected prime minister after the deposition of her father, but she was the first female prime minister in this Islamic country as well. In retrospect, Bhutto's promise of Roti, Kapra, Makan (bread, cloth and shelter) may not been redeemed, but some parts of the interview are still worth to read. The interview was given at a time of intense diplomatic activity in Pakistan, with regard to the end of Soviet occupation in Afghanistan and the return of some 3 million Afghani refugees to their country.