Islamabad, June 7 : The PPP has strongly condemned the recent claim made in a book written by a London-based Indian journalist Shyam Bhatia that former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto had confided to him that she participated in the nuclear black market, and described it as a "despicable attempt to sell books".
"The claim that Bhutto made such an acknowledgement to an obscure journalist is a tasteless exploitation of her tragic assassination," said PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar.
Shyam Bhatia's book "Goodbye Shahzadi" hit the stands two weeks ago.
Babar said that Benazir had been the architect of "Benazir Nuclear Doctrine" that strictly forbade exports of nuclear technology to any country. "The accusation that she spoke of her role in nuclear black market can either come from a deceased mind or from someone of a lowly stature in life who is desperate to get some attention," the Daily Times quoted him as saying.
Babar further said the claims that author Shyam Bhatia kept in regular touch with her were preposterous and were made only to lend credibility to his false assertions. He said that last year the Indian author wanted a 10-minute face to face interview with her for what he claimed cover story of a magazine. "Can you get me 10 minutes with her," he had asked in his e-mail of October 7, 2007 pleading, "most important of all if we cannot talk is to go over and take a picture of her."
"Bhutto had refused to grant a face-to-face interview, declined to be photographed and even did not accede to the request for a telephonic interview because Bhatia's standing and credentials did not warrant it," he claimed.
Babar said that instead Bhatia was asked to send his written questions to the media office for answers that he did, and got replies to the questions from the office, and not directly from her. "There was not one question relating to the nuclear issue in the list of questions that were replied to on her behalf by the media office. So much for the claim of his being in regular contact with her," he maintained.