The present research explores how Fatima Bhutto has glorified her father's political image while defending his political actions and challenging his misrepresentation. In her autobiography Songs of blood and sword: A daughter's memoir (2011), Fatima discusses his father's assassination and tries to eliminate the misconceptions connected with his actions. She narrates the heroic actions of her father that he undertook to rescue his father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, from the military regime of Zia. The textual analysis has been applied as a research method. Some extra-textual knowledge such as graphic representation, cross and historical references, and narrative strategies of the narrator has also been employed to analyse how a daughter has defended her father's political vulnerable image. Smith and Watson's Autobiographical theories are applied to analyse the auto/biographical features of the narrative. The research explored that Fatima's self-narrative is father centred, and research findings guide that it is an amalgamation of praise and blame. The study concludes that Fatima's narrative is defensive for his father's political portfolio. She resolves whatever reality of her father she comes up with within her investigative self-narrative, her reverence and love for her father will remain unconditional.
Autobiography, Father’s Image, Murtaza Bhutto, Democracy in Pakistan, Fatima Bhutto
Fatima Bhutto is the daughter of Murtaza Bhutto, the son of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. After his father's execution, Murtaza founded Al-Zulfiqar, an organisation to fight Zia's military regime. Murtaza was charged with hijacking a PIA plane and assassinating Pakistani politician Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi. While in exile in Afghanistan, Murtaza was sentenced to death by a military tribunal. He returned to Pakistan under his sister's government (Benazir) and was arrested on terrorism charges. After being granted bail, he ran for the Sindh Provincial Assembly and became a vocal opponent of Benazir's government and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari. He was killed in a police encounter near his home, 70 Clifton, in Karachi, in September 1996, along with six other people.
No doubt, Fatima has dedicated her book to her father by investigating his life and death, but her book may be divided into three parts. The first part of the book deals with Pakistan's appalling history since the 1950s. The second part of the book is the memoir of her family, the centre of Pakistan's history. Shaikh (2010) also points out that Fatima "tells the story of Pakistan through the prism of her feuding and feudal family" (p. 14). The third part of the book deals with the quest to find out the responsible persons behind the fatal police shooting of her father in 1996, as Rao (2010) states that in the last part of the book gives the details of "the political conflict between the Zardaris and Murtaza leading finally to his murder by the police" (p. 83).
Although Fatima has described Pakistan's history and a more significant account of her family, these episodes were necessary to understand the later part concerning her father's death. Fatima being a courageous girl, speaks about the injustices done with her father without fearing the consequences. Bose (2010) claims that "Fatima Bhutto has undoubtedly displayed extraordinary courage choosing to stay back in Karachi despite targeting so stridently in her book the many pillars of Pakistani establishment" (p. 121). She narrates many target killings in her book, especially murders in Karachi. Her courage is that she chooses to live back in Karachi instead of self-exile.
Textual analysis has been used as a research method to interpret the text as Gabriele Griffin in Research Methods for English Studies (2005) enlists Catherine Belsey's "Textual Analysis as a Research Method" as a recognised and an acknowledged way of interpretation in English studies. Brewer (2000) defines methodology as "if 'methods' are technical rules that define proper procedures, 'methodology' is the broad theoretical and philosophical framework into which these procedural rules fit" (p. 2). Along with the textual analysis, the researcher has employed some extra-textual features such as cross and historical references, graphic representation and narrative strategies employed by the narrator to analyse the text. The researcher has looked into the textual features like interviews, newspaper clippings, photographs, personal diaries, letters and historical allusions to interpret and analyse the text in detail. Although autobiographical narratives can reinforce "the dominant oppressive ideologies that they were meant to challenge" (Hendry, 1998; Hooks, 1989; Miller, 1998), the researcher has reflected on the "politically situated perspectives" (Griffiths, 1995, p. 70).
An autobiography is a form of writing in which an author undertakes to write whatever s/he thinks appropriate about himself/herself, without bothering to what gender or social strata s/he belongs. In an autobiography a narrator reviews a significant portion of his/her life and considers it "a process of interaction with a coexistent world" (Weintraub, 1975, p. 834). Autobiography negotiates the narrator's feelings and ambitions with the external world, because, in the process of self-narration, one cannot deny the fact that his/her life is interwoven with others' lives. So autobiographers take into consideration the role of others in their lives. Stanton (1987) states that "Some feminist critics defined the personal in women's autobiographies as a primary emphasis on the relation of self to others" (p. 12). A woman is a centre of every family, and all relations take birth from her, so she is closely related with other relations in her family.
Smith and Watson (1992) claim that "autobiographic processes are set in motion when this subject struggles toward voice, history, and a future" (p. xvii). Usually, narrators recount those moments that have some importance in their present and future lives. In the process of autobiography by "voice" Smith and Watson means the narrative voice. An autobiographer raises his/her voice with the help of narration and narrates past historical events in his/her present to seek a desired place in the "future". Autobiographers narrate the grievances they have suffered or conversely celebrate their achievements and suggest how they should be treated in the upcoming life. In this way, autobiography becomes a strategy for paving one's way in the world and makes the world attentive to "one's passions, commitments, and goals, and making oneself as a world" (Smith & Watson, 2006, p. 11).
A confessional form of writing is a first-person style of writing in which an individual reveals his or her private dark and heart motivations. Quinby (1992) defines autobiography as a discourse that promotes an "I" that shares with confessional discourse an assumed interiority and an ethical mandate to examine the interiority" (p. 299). Confessional discourse becomes a determiner to tell what the narrator feels about himself/herself and how s/he should be. Autobiography actually assesses the narrator's internal ethical ordering about his/her self. Fatima confesses her father's personal weaknesses that make her narrative a realist self-account. The confessional form of self-writing where liberates the self-narrator; at the same time, it cannot uncover the intact female subject. The self which women construct continues to be marked by tensions, contradictions, schisms, problems relating to subjectivity, "marginalisation and powerlessness" (Felski, 1998, p. 92) that shapes much of the female experience. Oppressed and marginalised women cannot find any place for themselves in the literary genre of writing to portray their true selves.
Autobiographies are considered as an account of past events in the life of a narrator, and that past experiential history may be recovered by the memory. In the process of revisiting or remembering, the past imagination comes in the process of remembering to distort the factual position of experiences. We cannot recall our past events as they happened in the past. Passerini (1987) explains that memory "gives prominence to moments of individual and collective decision-making.... Memory tends, in fact, to elaborate what is narrated until it becomes meaningful in a contemporary context" (p. 127). Personal and collective histories are interconnected, so while narrating, the narrator of the private events also takes care of the other interconnected events. Stone (1982) states that an autobiography is an imaginative act of "re-inventing a plausible and satisfying history" (p. 4). Revisiting the past depends upon the excessive use of memory, and the narrator reshapes his/her experiences according to what s/he wants irrespective of their real experiences. The narrator has choices in selecting the relevant events that have importance in the present time. Selective memory is another aspect of fiction that when a narrator deliberately chooses or leave the facts, then there left many things unelaborated and misunderstood. This particular notion of memory that "memory is selective and untrustworthy" (p. 5) is given by Smith and Watson (2006); by this, they mean that facts given in an autobiography are not truly remembered because of the interplay of selective and untrustworthy memory, but the narrator assigns meanings to those remembered events and tries to make them meaningful in his/her present day. Autobiography is then made of fictional historical facts, or to put it in another way, autobiography is a compound of fiction and historical facts.
Songs of blood and sword: A daughter's memoir (2011) seems more of an investigative treatise than an autobiography. It seems that many authors have contributed to the narrative of this text. Fatima's text is significantly dependent on the memories of others. Besides the retrieval role of memory, the other element of fiction in autobiography is a narration that contributes to the fictive nature of autobiography as Satchidanandan (2010) mentions that "at times it is difficult to distinguish between fiction and autobiography as both are narrative constructs" (p. 7). Autobiography and some other literary genres use narrative in their construction; this is also one reason for the closeness of autobiography to fiction. In storytelling, the narration is used usually in chronological order. Autobiography is an evolving content in the process of self-discovery and self-construction. These "insensible gradations" (Frye, 1957, p. 307) of random experiences merge autobiography with the other literary genres that take narrative form in their construction.
Autobiographies do not reflect the past as it is, but a narrator interprets his/her past experiential history according to the present situation's needs. Weintraub (1975) also stresses on the past's interpretations in the present that "when the autobiographer has gained that firm vantage point from which the full retrospective view on life can be had, he imposes on the past the order of the present" (p. 826). The text has been analysed by keeping all these parameters into consideration in order to develop strong arguments for the narrators’ attempt to justify and protect the image of her father.
Fatima Bhutto's Apology for her Father's Misrepresentation: Discussion
Fatima plays a role of a detective to unearth the facts of her father's political murder. In Songs of blood and sword: A daughter's memoir (2011), she freely admits by writing this book, she is honouring a promise to her father "to 'tell his story one day" (Shaikh, 2010, p. 15). Fatima suggests to her father that he should write a book about himself, but he replied, "'I can't write a book while I'm alive" (p. 22), and he asks Fatima that she should write about himself. Fatima instantly takes a pen and a scrap of paper so that she can write down some preliminary notes, but her father persuades her not now, but she can write after his life (Bhutto, 2011, p. 22). In the course of the narrative, Fatima tries to defend allegations associated with her father. The major allegations include the making of a terrorist organisation named Al Zulfikar, an attempt on the life of General Zia and the hijacking of a PIA aeroplane. Fatima addresses each allegation separately and tries to justify it. Fatima defends her father's personal as well as political life. When Della, her father's girlfriend, tells Fatima that Murtaza might have been in a relationship with someone else when their relationship was about to end, Fatima instinctively jumps to defend her father's honour but remembering the dates of her birth she realises that Della is right since her mother was pregnant in those days.
Fatima wants to know as much as she can about hijacking because she considers that it was the real threat to her father and uncle's life. Although in 2003 her father and uncle Shahnawaz were absolved from the official case of hijacking yet Fatima provides a benevolent account of hijacking. She narrates that her father was unaware of the hijacking until he received a call from Kabul airport control tower that "Salamullah Tipu", a violent good looking young man who had an acquaintance in Karachi and known by his violence in university politics, had hijacked a plane (p. 221). In his interview with Fatima, Suhail, one of her father's best friends, remembers that three months before the hijacking, Tipu offers Murtaza hijacking of a plane for the release of political prisoners in Pakistan but Murtaza altogether rejected his proposal. Fatima mentions that, indeed, Murtaza approached Tipu to end the hijacking but was refused. Tipu releases women and children on board at the request of Murtaza. Fatima recounts that her father, who was "gathering accounts of life under the dictatorship, of human rights abuses and political malfeasance" (p. 238) how he could hurt civilians by hijacking a plane. Further, Suhail supports Murtaza, who claimed that he was fighting against the usurpers, the "military coterie", and not the national institutions and civilians (p. 223). Anwar (1997) accuses Murtaza of the hijacking and states that Tipu was fooled by Murtaza's "ambition to become a leader" (p. 95). Anwar (1997) believes that his desire to take over his father's political legacy, Murtaza chooses the wrong way. Jalal (2014) also mentions that Murtaza and Shahnawaz both took "responsibility and demanded the release of political prisoners in exchange for the passengers" (p. 236) but later on, Murtaza abrogates the operation and accepts that hijackers were his men (p. 236).
Abbas (2015) holds Al-Zulfikar responsible for the PIA plane's hijacking. Bahadur writes in his book Democracy in Pakistan: Crises and Conflicts (1998) that, according to prominent Pakhtoon leader Ajmal Khatak who was in exile in Kabul at that time, "there was no evidence that hijackers had committed the act at the behest of Murtaza Bhutto" (p. 112). Jaffrelot and Schoch (2015) also write the same that Murtaza Bhutto always "denied responsibility for the hijacking" (p. 332). It appears that the available arguments against Murtaza's implication in the hijacking are not stronger enough to indict him directly. However, he was associated with a terrorist organisation Al-Zulfikar formed to fight with the military junta and avenge his father's judicial killing.
Fatima defends her father, who was in action to protect his father, Zulfikar, throughout her narration. Murtaza and Shahnawaz Bhutto travel to London on diplomatic missions after their father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, is arrested. Fatima claims that her father and uncle initially had no intention of using armed force to overthrow Zia's military regime, instead opting for a diplomatic strategy. Other voices are included by Fatima to support her father's diplomatic and political efforts to save his father's life.
Murtaza's Harvard roommate and friend Bobby Kennedy recalls that "Mir's diplomatic work was effective" (p. 161) in saving his father's life. With her father's efforts to save his father, Fatima has frequently used the word "diplomatic," which may have a subtle effect on the reader's mind. Fatima also claims that Murtaza appeared to be eager to fight the regime through "diplomatic means" (p. 238). Fatima includes photographs of her father and uncle Shahnawaz before describing her father and uncle's armed struggle.
Figure 1: A portrait taken of Murtaza around the time he embarked on his undergraduate studies at Harvard
Figure 2: Murtaza and Bill White at their Harvard graduation
Figure 3: Shahnawaz in Kabul
In figures 5.1 and 5.2, Fatima shows her father as an intellectual and a learned man as being a graduate from Harvard. In figure 5.3, Fatima shows her uncle in a commando’s uniform with a pistol hanging along his side. She mentions that her father was concerned only with the diplomatic aspects within the armed struggle, and her uncle was concerned with the physical training of the new recruits. Suhail describes that Murtaza was more concerned with the “diplomatic and political things” (p. 219). Fatima asserts that Murtaza and Shahnawaz begin armed force to save their father after two years of diplomatic fight. According to Fatima, her father was just angry with the military regime that hanged his father, and he fought politically against the violence of Benazir’s government. The two brothers were convinced that there was no peaceful way to fight with the military regime. Both the brothers formed “People’s Liberation Army,” later to be known as Al Zulfikar, to fight a guerrilla war against violent military rule (p. 178). She explains the name of the organisation that Zulfikar is named Hazrat Ali (R.A), a fearless warrior and a brave leader. Fatima legitimises her father and uncle's war against the military by relating them to Hazrat Ali (R.A). She also sees her father and uncle fearless and brave like Hazrat Ali (R.A).
Further on account of bravery, she relates her father and uncle to their father, Zulfikar, who takes his name from Imam’s sword—Zulfikar Ali. Al Zulfikar is Hazrat Ali’s (R.A) two pronged-swords. The name AL Zulfikar also has a symbolic value as, like two pronged-swords, they have become a shield to protect their father. Fatima admits that Al Zulfikar made its most daring attempt at General Zia's life. She gives a heroic identity to her father and uncle who “idolised Che Guevara” and the “resistance movements of Latin America and Africa” (p. 175). Che Guevara’s battle was for the “economic, social and political justice” in Latin America (Loveman & Davies, 2002, p. 422). Kallen (2013) mentions that although the assassination of Che Guevara cheers up many influential people who saw him as a threat many others mourned as many “intellectuals, students, political activist also saw Guevara as a hero” (p. 7). According to Fatima, Murtaza and Shahnawaz were the political activists who posed a threat to the military regime and had become heroes in the eyes of Pakistani people aggrieved by the military regime. Their armed struggle against the military junta was motivated by their father’s letter in which he writes that “if you do not avenge my murder, you are not my sons” (p. 169).
Fatima defends the honour of her father by justifying her father’s doing. Whatever her father was doing was only to pursue his father’s last wishes. She condemns her grandfather’s choice for setting up a dangerous course of life for his sons that eventually took their lives. Her father and uncle were also mistaken and misguided by taking a risky way of life. Further in her narrative she explores the purpose of her father’s visit to Kabul and made those choices that altered their lives. She confesses that “my reverence for my father did not change, but my method of questioning did” (p. 203). Fatima proclaims whatever her father had done does not alter anything for her; he is just like other affectionate fathers. She is proud of her father’s choice of leaving comfortable exile in London and choosing a risky life in Kabul to fight what he believes is an unjust system. Her father does not regret what he has done while fighting for the justice. She feels elated by the discovery of an essential part of her father’s life that has expanded her life exponentially.
Fatima creates her father’s political relational identity with that of her grandfather, Zulfikar. The surname Bhutto has become the identity of Zulfikar Ali and it symbolises the political achievements of Zulfikar, the first democratic prime minister of Pakistan. Fatima directly identifies her father with her grandfather, Zulfikar, when she includes the political slogans in her narrative, “Aiya, Aiya, Bhutto Aiya, ‘He’s come, he’s come. Bhutto has come” (p. 29). People at seeing Murtaza chant a more emotional and political slogan, “‘Zinda hai Bhutto!’” (Bhutto is alive) (p. 31). Fatima criticises Benazir for wrongly giving her children the Bhutto surname. Fatima makes it clear that besides her brother Zulfi, the only alive Bhuttos are Sassi and her.
Fatima reports her father’s political understandings and passions. In his early teenage years, he keeps the newspaper clippings and no story was too small or too large for him. The small stories are the stories of ordinary and common people and his interest in them symbolise the high importance Murtaza gave to ordinary people. Miraj Mohammad Khan, the president of the National Student Federation, remembers that Zulfikar stands in the rain even to talk with only ten people if they were a thousand (p. 98). Fatima states that like his father, Murtaza meets people with great dignity, and in return, they trust him even at such early young age. After the death of Zulfikar, Murtaza was welcomed by these ordinary people who raised slogans “‘The leader of the workers, Murtaza!’ ‘The leader of the peasants, of the poor, Murtaza!’” on his return to Pakistan (p. 29). While explaining Murtaza’s democratic and political way of fighting, Suhail tells Fatima that it was her father who contested elections from abroad and won. She is proud of her father’s political achievements that were limited by his death.
Besides the political achievements Fatima portrays a humble character of her father as Peter, one of his roommates, remembers that Murtaza was very down to earth even kneeled. Milbery, one of her father’s friends, tells that he was someone who was going somewhere in life, somewhere big, but he never showed it. Fatima argues that her father was not convinced of pomp and show. He did not realise people that he was the son of a Prime Minister. Professor Garaham tells in his interview that Murtaza did not want “everyone to know who he was” (p. 138). Fatima makes her point that her father was not after power and position. He was sociable and easy to talk to. Magda, girlfriend of Murtaza’s roommate, remembers that Murtaza had an enormous heart and was one of the kindest people she ever knew. Fatima admires her gregarious and easy-going father. He had the ability to adapt things quickly and he was utterly comfortable wherever he goes. Fatima pays her homage to her progressive father, who was always in control of his emotions, never overreacted, swore and yelled (p. 283).
Fatima takes time in accepting the reality of her father’s death. She gets angry with him and starts fighting whenever her father talks of death. She always hated the idea that her father will not be with her. She kisses her dying father everywhere on his face but she evades his eyes for fear of Lebanese superstition that “you will be separated from anyone whose eyelids your lips brush” (p. 413). She wants to go unconscious so that she can escape from the sight of her father’s death. At this point, she comes to know the meanings of her father’s whispers that he will die if something happens to her, her soul also rips apart at his death.
Fatima recalls how her father brought her up. He cut her hair, made food for her and taken her to school. She recounts that her father’s life is consumed by the sorrows he felt at deaths of near ones and the pains of life in exile. She thinks that her being was the only the reason for his living. Fatima reverses her role as being a child and brings her father a toy to cheer him up in his stressful life. She wants her father free from sadness and tensions. Fatima remembers that every night before sleeping her father told her that you are the soul of my world and he will die if something happens to her. Fatima is very much possessive about her father and cannot share her father’s love with anyone else. She gets angry at her father’s calling Ghinwa, Fatima’s step mother, his darling.
Fatima objects to Benazir’s usurpation of Zulfikar’s political legacy that actually belongs to the rightful inheritor, her father. Defending the political legacy of her father Fatima introduces the voice of Maulabux, a Zulfikar’s party activists, who recalls in his interview ‘“Bhutto ka waris Bhutto hai.’ ‘Bhutto’s heir is a Bhutto’. Benazir had become a Zardari” (p. 311). In Pakistani culture, the eldest son may inherit “supervision tasks” (Terpstra, 1998, p. 23) once the father is no longer able to or is dead and he may also inherit the “better pieces of family property” (Wilber & Atwell, 1964, p. 124). Fatima justifies her point through the voice of Maulabux that it is the eldest son who takes over the father’s work, whether it is “farming, business or politics”, and it is common in every culture, even in “Western cultures” (p. 311). She attempts to uncover Benazir’s greed for power by including the voice of Aftab Sherpao, the former vice-president of the People’s Party, who recalls in his interview with Fatima that Benazir was about to get power and didn’t want to let it go and she removed Begum Bhutto from the party because she was afraid of her (Fatima’s) father and the “Bhutto legacy was his (Murtaza’s), not hers (Benazir)” (p. 312). After the end of the military government at the eve of elections, Benazir directly speaks to her brother Murtaza and refuses him a ticket on a party basis and advises him to leave Syria and settle in London for few years (p. 312). Fatima calls Benazir a “consummate bully” who persuades her brother for self-exile so that she can maintain her power for a long term (p. 312).
Fatima incorporates her grandmother Nusrat’s voice that she wants Murtaza to inherit his father’s political legacy and perform his duties being a son of a martyr. Suhail also mentions that Mrs. Bhutto wants “Mir to have a chance to fulfil his role” (p. 361). Nusrat advises her daughter Benazir not to fight for the inheritance of her father’s political legacy because it will harm her father’s legacy (p. 360). She condemns her daughter Benazir for her political ambitions. Suhail recalls that after the arrest of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, it was Nusrat who played her active role and kept the party together. Benazir finally ousted her mother from her honorary post, fearing that her mother would overturn her decision by welcoming Mir to the party.
Although Fatima claims that it’s not about heirs or patriarchy yet, in fact, she wants her father to be the inheritor of his father’s political legacy. Fatima endorses the patriarchal law of inheritance and prefers her father to her aunt Benazir for the legacy. Fatima criticises Benazir’s comments which she makes while speaking to New York Times that “‘Once my father died, I knew the day would come when, like all feudal families, they’d lock up the daughter so that the son takes over’” (p. 359). According to Fatima, Benazir had played gender/sibling cards and has converted the political matter into a personal, trivial family matter when she was unable to respond to her father’s political criticism. Fatima also defends the feudal image and argues if the feudal families are intent on locking up their girls, how they can send their girls to Radcliffe and Oxford.
Murtaza states in his interview with Newsline Magazine (June 1994) that “I have never asked to be the chairman of the party . . . nor the Chief Minister of Sindh (as constantly alleged by Benazir). I have simply demanded elections in the party at all levels. Is that an unreasonable demand?” (p. 359). Fatima is of the view that her father was following his father’s ideology of fair elections. She includes certain other voices to validate her argument. Fatima enlarges the image of her father by including the voice of Nana (sister of Murtaza’s girlfriend, Della) that Murtaza loved his sister Benazir and stepped aside for her. Nana remembers that Murtaza said to them once, “she (Benazir) wants to be the political heir, so OK, I’ll move aside” (p. 240). Suhail’s voice once again echoes in Fatima’s narrative and claims that Murtaza had the clean hands, the “corruption- and compromise-free record,” and the ideological understanding of “socialist politics” that threatened Benazir (p. 311).
Fatima’s self-narrative Songs of blood and sword: A daughter’s memoir (2010) is a mix of praise and blame that focuses on evaluating and defending the actions of a father. Fatima moves back and forth into her past and present in search of the myths attached to her father’s personality. Fatima defends her father’s actions and portrays an unconditional love for her father irrespective of his right or wrong choices and actions.
Songs of Blood and Sword: A Daughter’s Memoir (2011) is an elegiac self-account in which Fatima mourns at the death of her father and traces his life story to arrive upon the real happenings of his life. Although her father was absolved from the official case of hijacking yet, she defends her father that it was Salamullah Tipu, a violent good looking young man who had an acquaintance in Karachi and known for his violence in university politics had hijacked a plane (p. 221). It was her father who requested Tipu to release the children and women from the hijacked plane. She mentions how her father does an act of cowardice, hijacking the plane, at the time when he was raising his voice for the human rights of the military junta. She tries to eliminate the misconceptions connected with her father’s actions. She defends her father’s actions that he takes in his try to save his father from the military junta. He made an organisation named Al-Zulfikar to start a diplomatic mission to defend his father, Zulfikar. He was against the violence that Fatima proves in the form of a graphic representation of her father. According to Fatima, whatever her father was doing was only the fulfilment of his father’s dying wishes. She legitimises the war of her father and uncle against the military by relating them to Hazrat Ali (R.A). She also sees her father and uncle fearless and brave like Hazrat Ali (R.A). Further, she asserts that her father was a leader of ordinary and common people that enlarges his image as a political leader. But the real challenge for Fatima was to raise her voice against the exploitation of her father’s personal and political rights by his sister Benazir. Fatima objects to Benazir’s usurpation of Zulfikar’s political legacy that belongs to her father's rightful inheritor. Fatima is entirely objective in portraying her father's image as she praises her father for his brave actions against the military regime to save his father. At the same time, she condemns his wrong decisions that have also altered her way of living altogether.
During her narrative, Fatima looks performing the duties of a common daughter who reacts against the disrespect of a father. In fact, she honours the relationship of father and daughter as knowing about all her father’s wrong decisions, she confesses that her reverence for her father will never change. Fatima comes out as an independent daughter who loves her father, unconditionally. Songs of Blood and Sword: A Daughter’s Memoir (2011) is a story that binds a daughter with her father emotionally even after his death. She confesses that “my reverence for my father did not change, but my method of questioning did” (p. 203). Fatima proclaims whatever her father had done does not alter anything for her; he is just like other affectionate fathers.
© 2016, All rights reserved - by GLR journal