Benazir's official biography to hit stands soon

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Karachi, June 20 : After a recent biography of former Pakistan Premier Benazir Bhutto by Indian journalist Shyam Bhatia hit the stands last month, here is another in the making, and its author claims it to be 'authentic' as he possess hours of exclusive interview with her.

Shyam Bhatia's book "Goodbye Shahzadi" had attracted a lot of criticism over the author claiming that Benazir had confided in him that she too had played in transfer of nuclear knowhow. Benazir's party took a strong exception to the contents of the book, saying that Shyam Bhatia's version was not true as he never got any opportunity to directly interact with Benazir.

"The official biography of Benazir Bhutto which was compiled with her active participation and for which she herself had arranged interviews with those associated with her is being updated for launching by end of this year," The Nation quoted its author Dr. Mohammad Ali Shaikh as saying.

He said he had his last meeting with her on 14th December 2007 at Bilawal House, just thirteen days before her assassination. "I possess several hours of exclusively recorded interviews with Ms. Bhutto and several others of her relatives, friends and confidantes including Sanam Bhutto, Victoria Schofield, Bashir Riaz, General (Retd) Naseerullah Baber, Wajid Shamsul Hassan, Siraj Shams, Hussain Lawai, Rehman Malik and others", Shaikh said and added: "This shall be my last tribute to her."

He said that certifying the authenticity of the work, Benazir had remarked in her handwritten note addressed to the author on 23 November 2000, saying: "I am privileged that you chose to write a biography on me. The biography is well researched and enriches academia and history".

The work was originally published in English in 2000 under title 'Benazir Bhutto: A Political Biography' and was subsequently translated as well as published in Urdu by Mussawat Press Lahore under her directions.

The author was associated with her and he had also served as Director, Center for Information and Research (CIR) in the SZABIST, of which she was the Chancellor and chairperson of the Board of Governors, said the paper.

ANI

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